Author: Matthew Smith
Holidaymakers will soon find out which countries will allow quarantine-free travel later this month.
An official announcement is expected from the government in the coming days ahead of the May 17 rule changes.
That will allow Brits to holiday abroad once again, as well as families to reunite overseas after a long and tough year.
However, the initial list is expected to be short with the Government only likely to include countries on the ‘green’ list if there is no risk of reimporting the virus.
As international travel resumes there will be a new traffic light system in place.
The ‘green’ list will allow for people to visit and not have to quarantine on their return to the UK, but they will still be required to test before travel and once they are back in the country.
The ‘amber’ list will allow people to quarantine at home for 10 days once they are back in the UK, while the ‘red’ list will require mandatory hotel quarantine for travellers.
As The Mirror reports, the decision will be based on four tests: vaccination rates, the number of coronavirus cases, the prevalence of “variants of concern” and the quality of testing data.
We’ve rounded up the countries that could make the green and red lists ahead of May 17:
As many as 24 countries could be included on the list originally, with Portugal, Malta, Iceland, Finland and Gibraltar all expected to be on the green list when it is first announced.
Israel could also be included after a successful roll-out of the vaccine has allowed the country to reopen.
Caribbean countries such as Jamaica and Grenada have also been mentioned with case rates still low in those countries.
The USA may be included too, with their vaccine rollout progressing well.
Some countries with low Covid rates – such as New Zealand and Australia – may have their own rules on international travel that prevent Brits from visiting.
While reports suggest the original list may be short by June, more countries will be in a position to allow visitors.
Many ‘amber’ countries could be on the cusp of the quarantine-free travel, but will be out of reach for many British holidaymakers.
This will likely include many European holiday favourites such as Spain, Greece, Italy and Cyprus, with those countries being affected by a slower vaccine rollout.
However, reviews are likely to be on a regular basis so holidaymakers may not have long to wait for their favourite destinations to reopen.
The use of a vaccination passport to some locations include France and Greece may also affect whether Brits can visit without quarantine, with ministers in those countries saying they are set to welcome back visitors.
It’s not clear yet whether this would mean visitors who are vaccinated would be required to quarantine.
The ‘red’ list system will be similar to the list that is already in place.
This will require hotel quarantine for any British or Irish National or those who residence rights who have travelled from – or has been through – any affected countries.
For those who aren’t residents, they will be refused entry into the country.
This list may change with the announcement of the other two lists, however, it’s likely travel will be banned from most of these locations.
The red list was introduced to try to prevent importing ‘variants of concern’ which could affect the vaccine rollout in the UK, and to avoid another wave of cases from visitors.
As of April 23, these are the countries that are currently on the red list:
- Cape Verde
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- French Guiana
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)