Holidaymakers are waiting with bated breath to see which – if any – countries will be added to the UK’s travel “green list” at Thursday’s travel traffic light review.
At the moment, there are just 29 countries and dependencies on the “green list”, with few popular tourist destinations included.
There were fears this week too that popular holiday destination Spain could even be headed to the red list, which would mean any returnees must quarantine in a hotel at a cost of £1,700.
Those worries have been allayed, after a Whitehall source told the Times thatt increased restrictions for the UK’s number one tourist destination would be “very unlikely”.
“Spain won’t be going on the amber watchlist – the only danger is it going red but that’s very unlikely,” the Times reported.
But travel experts have predicted that a number of European countries are in line for promotion to the the tier with the fewest travel restrictions.
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel firm the PC Agency, has forecast that Poland, Austria, Canada, Bosnia, Romania, Hungary, Slovenia, Germany, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic could join the list.
He also told the Telegraph that Bhutan, French Polynesia, North Macedonia, Norway and Saudi Arabia could join the green watchlist of countries at risk of turning “amber”.
And last week former British Airways strategist Robert Boyle predicted that a number of the same countries would turn green.
His list of potential additions is as follows: Austria, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Azerbaijan, Bhutan and Vietnam.
However, it is not all positive news, as there have been multiple reports that holiday hotspots such as Greece and Spain could join France on the “amber plus” list.
Holidaymakers going to destinations on that category have to quarantine at home on return even if they have been double vaccinated, unlike for normal amber list destinations.
What are the rules?
- Green: Travellers returning from green countries have to take a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure, and then take a PCR test on or before the second day of their return to the UK (even if fully vaccinated). They will not have to quarantine.
- Amber: Holidaymakers returning from “amber” destinations have to isolate at home for 10 days, unless they have been double vaccinated, in which case they are exempt. Amber travellers also have to take a test before departure and book and pay for two PCR tests on day two and day eight of their home quarantine. If they want to release quarantine early, they can pay for a PCR test on day five (but will still have to take the test on the eighth day, as well).
- Amber plus: Holidaymakers have to quarantine at home for 10 days even if they have been double vaccinated. Amber plus travellers also have to take a test before departure and book and pay for two PCR tests on day two and day eight of their home quarantine.
- Red: Brits coming back from “red” countries have to quarantine for 10 days in hotels chosen by the government. The stay costs £1,750 per person, with pre-departure tests and tests on days two and eight.