Travel list update: The countries that could change lists and all new rules explained

Travel: Calder predicts 'more positive than negative' changes

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What are the new updates to the Government’s travel lists? As anxious holidaymakers wait for updates, these are the changes we expect to see, and all the new rules explained.

Many Brits, including hopeful holidaymakers and those who work in the travel industry, are waiting for the highly-anticipated updates to the travel traffic light system lists, which are expected later today.

Especially so close to the bank holiday weekend, many are waiting to find out if their plans will have to change.

Paul Charles, CEO of the PC agency, predicts few changes. He tweeted yesterday: “Very few traffic light changes due tomorrow afternoon. Government simply doesn’t have the bandwidth to deal with #Afghanistan #Covid and #trafficlights.”

Also making his predictions on Twitter, data analyst and travel expert Tim White has said that in his opinion, popular holiday destinations Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Malta will not move from their current categories.

There are three lists: green, amber and red. These lists correlate to the strictness of travel restrictions.

When will the travel list update?

An announcement from the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is expected today. He will confirm which countries are moving lists.

The updates have previously taken place in the evenings, so we expect to hear from Mr Shapps between 5pm and 10pm this evening.

Based on previous travel updates, the changes announced will come into force four or five days after the announcement. This means that any changes announced today, would come into effect on Monday, 30 August or Tuesday, 31 August.

What countries could be added to the green list?

The factors that seem to indicate whether a country can be added to the green list are coronavirus infection rates and the level of vaccination.

The PC agency, a travel consultancy, have suggested that five countries currently on the amber list could turn green following the announcement today.

The five countries that could be added to the green list are:

  • Poland
  • Bhutan
  • The Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Saudi Arabia

Travellers going to countries on the green list are not required to quarantine upon their return to the UK. If a country is on the green list, they may still have their own entry requirements that travellers must adhere to, so make sure you check the rules for your destination.

What countries could be downgraded to the amber list?

The PC agency has also identified nine countries at risk of turning amber.

These are:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua
  • Croatia
  • Israel
  • Lithuania
  • Madeira
  • Montserrat
  • Turks and Caicos

If these countries are moved to the amber list, passengers returning to the UK from these destinations will have to take a PCR test before leaving the UK and another once they return. Unvaccinated travellers, or those who have only had their first jab, will have to quarantine on return to the UK.

Within the UK’s green list, there is also a ‘green watchlist’. Countries on this list could be moved to amber without much warning.

Countries currently on the green ‘watch list’ are:

  • Anguilla
  • Antarctica
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Cayman Islands
  • Croatia
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Israel
  • Madeira
  • Montserrat
  • Taiwan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

What countries could move from red to amber?

Some countries on the red list have seen a decrease in the rate of coronavirus infections, and are hoping for a spot on the amber list.

Turkey’s embassy has said they “expect” the UK to move them to the amber list. They have fully vaccinated almost half of their adult population.

Speaking to the i, travel expert Tim White predicted that countries to move from red to amber include:

  • The Maldives
  • Dominican Republic
  • Oman

What countries could be added to the red list?

St. Lucia, Dominica Morocco and Jamaica are feared to be moving from the amber list to red.

Vaccinated travellers

One of the biggest indicators that travel restrictions could be relaxed further for vaccinated travellers, is the low number of those testing positive for coronavirus after holidaying.

Data from testing and diagnostics company Cignpost show that only 0.4 per cent of fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK at the end of July were found to have coronavirus

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