Politics

What needs to happen for countries to qualify for the green travel list

The government will update its traffic light system today (June 24) for foreign travel, but only a ‘handful’ of countries are expected to move from the amber list to the green list.

As it currently stands, British holidaymakers can travel to 11 countries and territories such as Australia, Gibraltar and Israel and return without isolating.

Government reviews on foreign travel take place every three weeks – with the last announcement on June 3, when Portugal was moved from the green list to amber.

READ MORE: Key thing we all need to do to make summer holidays safe according to a leading scientist

A sign directs passengers to a testing centre at Heathrow Airport

Countries and territories added on to the new travel lists today will likely come into full effect next week.

A foreign country or territory’s position on the government’s green, amber and red lists are determined by:

  • The percentage of population vaccinated
  • The rate of infection
  • The number of cases of variants of concern
  • Whether a country can access reliable scientific data

Passengers travelling from a green list country are not required to self-isolate, but they must provide a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure.

This is followed by a PCR test which must be taken by their second day back in the UK, tests cost around £150.

Travelling from an amber list country requires Brits to quarantine at home for 10 days.

They must take a test before travelling to that country, followed by two PCR tests on days two and eight when they are back in the UK.

Passengers arriving from a red list country will have to quarantine in a government-approved hotel that costs up to £1,750 per person.

They must take a pre-departure test, as well as two PCR tests on days two and eight when they are back in the UK.

So what countries and territories could move to the green list?

Queues at Heathrow last month
Queues at Heathrow last month

Malta and the Balearic Islands, which include Mallorca and Ibiza, are among a ‘handful’ of destinations which could be placed on the green list, according to The Times.

Meanwhile the PC Travel Agency says the following places would qualify for the green list, based on current data:

-Barbados

-Canada

-Croatia

-Finland

-Germany

-Grenada

-Italy

-Jamaica

-Malta

-Mexico

-Morocco

-Poland

-USA

However, given the current extension of ‘Freedom Day’ and concerns over the Delta variant, a large number of new green list destinations seems unlikely.

On Monday (June 28), the government will look into a ‘checkpoint’ review of the rules under each category. There are hopes that the travel quarantine rules may be relaxed for UK residents who have been fully vaccinated with both doses.

For more news from across the capital, head to our My London homepage.


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