Boris Johnson says travel red list is under 'constant review'
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Brits are eager to get away this summer after more than a year of taxing coronavirus restrictions and stressful rules. The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce is in the process of categorising countries dependent on four key criteria, labelling them in a traffic light system.
As such, countries will be classified as either Green, Red or Amber, with Britons able to see where they can fly to freely.
Those countries in the Green category will not require isolation upon return to the UK, however, Covid tests before and after travel will likely be required.
Countries in the Amber list will see Britons face 10 days of quarantine, as well as Covid testing before and after travel.
And Red list countries will be deemed as too risky for travel, with travellers returning to the UK from these areas having to isolate in a Government selected hotel at their own cost.
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The Government’s four criteria when considering which countries to add to which list are
- status of a country’s vaccination programme
- infection rates
- prevalence of variants of concern
- access to genomic sequencing
Covid variants are of concern, so being able to discern different varients quickly is key.
When will green list be announced?
Restrictions on international travel are due to lift on May 17, however, the Government will likely announce the Green, Amber and Red lists before this date.
There has been no set in stone date for the announcement, with early May given as a milestone.
Aviation minister, Robert Courts, told the Transport Select Committee: “We need to be in a position whereby when we make those decisions it is on the data that exists at that time.
“We are still some distance away from that date at the moment.
“I anticipate that in the early part of May we will be able to give some more detail into which category each country will fall.”
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With much speculation as to which countries will or won’t make the Green list, studies have been carried out to determine where Britons may be able to visit.
Travel expert Paul Charles, from the PC Agency, has predicted up to 30 countries will be listed as Green.
While many Britons will choose Europe for their holidays, much of the continent is battling increased infections, variants and are still under lockdown rules.
However, countries like Morocco, Iceland and Jamaica may be good options as cases are low according to Mr Charles.
Further insight from PC Agency has found the Red countries will potentially include Canada, Mexico and South Africa.
Much of Europe may be placed on the Amber list, with some exceptions.
Mr Charles said: “Countries that will possibly be green include Israel, Barbados, Morocco, Maldives, Seychelles, Grenada, St Lucia, Antigua and the British Overseas Territories of Bermuda, Turks & Caicos, Falkland Islands, St Helena and a clutch of others.
“As such, it’s highly likely 20 to 30 countries could be green from the outset.”
Potential Green List countries
- Vaccinated: 20 percent
- Daily cases: 4.7/100,000
- Weekly change: -11 percent
Border controls: None at the moment however travellers may be asked for proof of vaccinations or negative test
- Vaccinated: 97 percent
- Daily cases: None
- Weekly change: 0.023 percent
Border controls: Travellers must present proof of a negative result from a PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Gibraltar, or take a fast test on arrival at Gibraltar Airport.
- Vaccinated: 51 percent
- Daily cases: 19.2/100,000
- Weekly change : -1.3 percent
Border controls: Must have proof of negative test within 72 hours on arrival
- Vaccinated: 44 percent
- Daily cases: 9.2/100,000
- Weekly change: -22 percent
Border controls: Malta is expected to permit travel on June 1. Currently 14 day quarantine, arrive with negative PCR test and be retested on arrival.
- Vaccinated: 24 percent
- Daily cases: 2.6/100,000
- Weekly change: 8 percent
Border controls: Visitors tested on arrival and must quarantine for five days.
- Vaccinated: 68 percent
- Daily cases: 55/100,000
- Weekly change: 21 percent
Border controls: Arrive with proof of negative PCR test taken with 72 hours
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