Green list: Portugal, Malta and Iceland expected to be given nod from 17 May, says travel expert

Most of Europe looks set to be amber

Helen Coffey
Saturday 01 May 2021 10:02
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Coronavirus in numbers

Portugal, Malta, Gibraltar, Iceland and Finland are all expected to be on the “green list” when international leisure travel restarts on 17 May, according to a travel expert.

Most of the rest of Europe is predicted to be amber when the UK’s traffic light system goes live, said Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy the PC Agency.

In a series of tweets, he outlined which 24 countries were looking likely to be declared green right from the off, “based on vaccine rates, infection rates, evidence of variants and data quality”.

Outside Europe, Mr Charles said a number of Caribbean destinations were likely to be green, naming Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Jamaica, plus the British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands, Ascension, South Georgia, Saint Helena, British Antarctic Territory and the Pitcairn Islands.

Israel, Morocco and the Falkland Islands were also a shoe-in for the green list, predicted Mr Charles.

Popular holiday spots the Maldives, Seychelles and Sri Lanka are not expected to be green at present due increases in infection rates that are possibly linked to the Indian variant of the virus.

“Cyprus is also of concern due to 100%+ infection increase in the last month,” said Mr Charles. “It’s number one in our chart.”

He shared a chart compiled by the PC Agency that looks at four sets of data: the percentage of the population who’ve received one dose of the vaccine; the cumulative number of infections per 100,000 people over the previous seven days; the cumulative number of infections per 100,000 people over the previous 14 days; and the percentage change in 14-day infections compared to the previous week.

Underneath Cyprus are Turkey, Bahrain, Sweden and Croatia.

By the end of June, most of Europe is expected to have to changed to green, along with the US.

Mr Charles believes the government will announce the full traffic-light lists on 6 or 7 May, before confirming on 10 May that travel can restart from the 17 May.

Every country will be designated red, amber or green under the new system.

Each colour comes with a different set of rules depending on the risk of importing new cases of Covid into the UK.

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All passengers travelling to the country must present a negative Covid test result before departure – rapid antigen, lateral flow and PCR are all acceptable.

After that, green countries will have the lightest restrictions, with arrivals into England required to take one PCR test within two days of arrival.

Those travelling from amber countries will have to take two PCR tests, one on day two and one on day eight, and quarantine for 10 days at home – though they can cut self-isolation short in England if they opt to pay for another PCR test on day five.

And travellers from red list countries will continue with the same system that’s in place now, required to pre-book an 11-night stay at a quarantine hotel and take a test on day two and day eight. The package currently costs £1,750 for a single traveller.

The Independent has contacted the Department for Transport for further information.

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