Travel: Calder discusses potential green list countries
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The green list was revealed on May 17 when international travel was allowed to resume, but much to the dismay of aspiring travellers, only 12 destinations were added. Green countries are those deemed safe for recreational travel and don’t require passengers to quarantine upon their return to the UK. Travel to amber and red countries is still allowed but discouraged, and depending on which destination you venture to, you’ll have to quarantine either in an approved hotel or your own home on your way back into the country. Those hoping to holiday safely are undoubtedly anxiously awaiting the next travel update to see where they can go.
This week Mr Shapps urged eager holidaymakers hoping to travel within the European Union to exercise patience.
Mr Shapps said: “I don’t think people have a very long time to wait before other countries are able to join the green list.:”
The Transport Secretary added France’s vaccination rate is lagging six to eight weeks behind the UK, meaning it could be deemed safe for travel soon.
He urged travellers in the UK to be “a little patient” and wait for countries to be added before venturing out of the country for leisure purposes.
Mr Shapps also implied that countries working hard to ramp up their vaccination efforts are in with a better chance of making the list.
The current green list included Portugal and the Azores, Gibraltar and Australia – all destinations with high rates of vaccination and low rates of infection.
The Government is expected to review its traffic light system for foreign travel on June 7.
Some countries currently on the amber list are likely to be made green, but keen watchers are being warned an influx of safe destinations isn’t expected.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly told MPs “quite a few” countries are on the verge of making the list, adding the frontrunners are likely to be destinations which were “near misses” for the initial list.
These countries were:
British Virgin Islands
Antigua and Barbuda
St Kitts and Nevis
Turks and Caicos
Decisions will be made based on the countries’ prevalence of Covid infections, variants of concern, vaccination rates and their genome sequencing and testing abilities.
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Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said it looks increasingly unlikely the top European tourist spots for British holidaymakers will make it onto the next update.
However, the Government has been heavily criticised for its mixed messaging when it comes to travel so at this point it’s yet to be seen what will happen.
The 11 countries which could be added to the green list based on vaccination rates:
The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Isle of Man
The expected update comes as British travellers may face tougher restrictions while travelling to France following numerous reported cases of the India variant circulating in the UK.
According to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the UK won’t be dubbed a red list country but could face “slightly tougher sanitary measures”, possibly having a category of its own according to Schengen Visa Info.
Mr Le Drian said: “The arrival of the Indian variant is a problem, and we remain on high alert regarding that matter in cooperation with the British authorities.
Currently, Brits travelling to France have to provide a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before they arrive, fill in a health declaration form forcing them to self isolate for seven days and then take another PCR test.
The EU Parliament is expected to enable European citizens to travel around the 27-nation-bloc using Covid certificates from June 16, but since the UK left in December 2020, it cannot take advantage of the arrangement.
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