‘Green list’ update set for 3 June, taking effect a week later

Exclusive: Malta, Spain’s Balearic Islands and a scattering of Greek islands may be made quarantine-free

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Friday 28 May 2021 21:12 BST

Related: Most European countries should be on ‘green’ travel list, says EasyJet boss

The much-anticipated first review of the government's "green list" of overseas destinations is to take place on 3 June, The Independent has learnt.

Any changes to the quarantine requirements will take effect a week later, at 4am on 10 June.

At present only a dozen countries and territories are on the low-risk register from which returning travellers need not quarantine – and, in practice, the only feasible destinations are Gibraltar, Iceland and Portugal.

Travel industry bosses have cited data on coronavirus infection rates and vaccination programmes to demand that many more nations – as well as individual islands – should be rated "green".

Malta, the Balearic Islands of Spain and the Greek islands of Kos, Rhodes, Santorini and Zante are prime candidates for inclusion.

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But the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has dampened optimism among prospective travellers and holiday firms by saying only that he "hopes" the green list might be expanded.

There are hopes that some of the 43 “red list” countries may be reclassified as “amber”, removing the need for hotel quarantine on arrival in the UK.

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Turkey, South Africa and the UAE have made strident representations to the UK for the red list designation to be removed. But Mr Shapps has warned that hubs such as Dubai are red-listed because they have so many passengers arriving from different locations.

Assuming the promised three-week cycle is followed, the second review will be on 24 June, taking effect on 1 July.

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