Travel: Hays Travel chair says ‘we are very optimistic’
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International travel resumed on May 17 under the new traffic light system, countries were dubbed Green, Amber and Red destinations depending on the levels of Covid and other factors. The Government has since said it will review the green list every three weeks in an effort to give holidaymakers wider variety in choosing where to spend their annual leave. The last update took place on Thursday, June 24 and was led by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Mounting speculation suggests that while the Government was intending to host its next update on Thursday, it’s now been moved back to Wednesday.
While nothing has been confirmed, a reviewed list of green destinations could become available this afternoon.
Whenever another travel review takes place, it’s expected that it will be hosted by Mr Shapps again via a Downing Street conference.
The Department for Transport said: “These regular review points will allow the Government to balance helping the public to understand Covid requirements when travelling to England while allowing us to constantly evaluate the risk for different countries.”
The travel update comes just days before England is due to lift its remaining social restrictions from the pandemic as the country enters stage four of the Government’s roadmap.
From July 19, dubbed ‘Freedom Day’ by many, those who have received two doses of the Covid vaccine more than two weeks ago will be able to travel to amber destinations without quarantining on return.
The Transport Secretary explained what fully vaccinated means, saying: “A full vaccination means 14 days have passed since your final dose of the vaccine.”
Mr Shapps said all under-18s will be exempt from the requirement to quarantine whether they had the vaccine or not, while official guidance warning against travel to amber countries will be lifted on July 19 too.
Which countries could be added to the green list?
Former British Airways’ strategy chief, Robert Boyle, claims to have cracked the code the Government uses to decide which countries will be turned green.
This includes seven-day infection rates being below 20 per 100,000 people and fewer than 1.5 percent of Covid tests returning positive rates, coupled with high vaccination rates.
By Mr Boyle’s calculations, there are 12 countries that look to be top contenders for a spot on the green list.
- Hong Kong
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As things stand, Italy has vaccinated about 37 percent of its population, equating to around half of the UK’s own rate.
However, case numbers in Italy are significantly lower.
The country recorded just 1,391 on Sunday, July 11 while its seven-day infection rate is just 13 per 100,000 people.
Germany’s seven-day infection rate is even lower with just six in every 100,000 citizens, while Bulgaria’s number is five currently.
Poland’s rate of infection is one per 100,000, while Hong Kong is recording just one new case a day on average, making it one of the safest destinations.
The green list, according to the Government, is based on these criteria:
- The percentage of a country’s population that have been vaccinated
- The rate of infection
- The prevalence of variants of concern
- The country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing
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