UK Transport Secretary says more countries should be added to the green list soon

May 24, 2021

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With the first wave of relaxed travel restrictions now in effect for a week, travellers have just a little bit more freedom. As infection rates seem to come down and vaccination continues in most countries, it’s possible that travel might be even less restricted soon. U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told The Financial Times “I don’t think people have a very long time to wait before other countries are able to join the green list,” as reported by The Telegraph.

With the rate of vaccination on the rise across Europe, it might be possible for Britons to holiday across the continent later this summer. The next review for the foreign travel policy will take place on June 7, offering the first opportunity for new countries to be added to the coveted green list for long-awaited holidays to more traditional destinations like Spain, Italy, France, Greece and the United States.

The initial green list was criticised by airlines and tourism operators as being too cautious given the decimation the travel industry has experienced during the pandemic.

RelatedWhat does the ‘traffic light’ travel announcement mean for my summer holiday?

If a country gets added to the green list, travellers are currently free from quarantine requirements on their return to the United Kingdom. This makes a country one step closer to being a suitable holiday destination. It will still rely on that country opening to tourists and there will still be testing requirements in place but it will provide a comparatively worry-free travel experience. Destinations that are currently on the green list are:

  • Australia;
  • New Zealand;
  • Singapore;
  • Brunei;
  • Iceland;
  • Faroe Islands;
  • Gibraltar;
  • Falkland Islands;
  • Israel and Jerusalem;
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands;
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; and
  • Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira.

Related: Will my travel insurance cover a holiday to an amber country this summer?

Although we don’t yet know which countries will be added to the green list, unfortunately, the latest news is that the U.S. is not hopeful. A White House spokesperson told Reuters that “there were no changes in travel restrictions planned at the moment”, indicating that there won’t be quarantine-free travel options between the U.K. and the U.S. any time soon.

Featured image by Jrgen Flchle/EyeEm/Getty Images

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