Brits can start thinking about foreign travel later this year as the Government unveiled a new traffic light system which lifts quarantine to a number of countries.
While Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that for the first time he’s not advising against booking a summer holiday, there are still questions about which countries will be included in the list.
The new system will mean some countries are put on the ‘green’ list which means no quarantine is necessary – although travellers will need to test themselves before and after travel.
The ‘amber’ list will include countries that will require quarantine upon arrival, but that can be done at home.
Travel to the ‘red’ list of countries will require hotel quarantine.
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It’s also unclear how much the extra testing will cost those wanting to travel, the Government’s plan includes a requirement for at least two PCR tests to be carried out regardless of the country – which could cost £120 per person.
Holidays could resume on May 17 at the earliest, according to the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown.
However, the ‘uncertainty’ caused by the plans has already led Jet2 and Jet2Holidays to suspend all flights and holidays for an extra month, until after June 23.
For those still wanting to get away as soon as possible, whether for a holiday or to be reunited with loved ones, there’s still no confirmation on which countries will be included on the first green list.
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Which countries could be on travel ‘green’ list?
According to the PA news agency, initial lists will be published early next month.
Assessments will be based on a range of factors, including the proportion of a country’s population which has been vaccinated, rates of infection, emerging new variants and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
There are 10 countries that are most likely to be included based on the latest information.
- South Korea
- The Caribbean
- United Arab Emirates
However, this has not been confirmed yet and could be subject to change.
If this is the case, it means many favourites for British tourists including Spain and Italy will be off-limits at the start of summer.
The red list is already in operation with 39 countries already included.
These include all of South America and southern Africa, with Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines were added on Friday.
Travellers arriving from these countries are required to quarantine in specially dedicated hotels for at least 10 days.