Twelve new countries are on course to be added to the UK’s travel green list this week, opening up more quarantine-free holiday options this summer.
Data shows that falling Covid-19 cases in several countries means the coronavirus risk level may be low enough to get the green light from the government, The Telegraph reports.
Which countries could be added?
Italy, Germany and Bulgaria are among 12 countries that are expected to join the green list thanks to a decline in coronavirus cases.
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Robert Boyle, a former BA strategist, compiled the research which analysed coronavirus cases across the globe, countries’ testing capabilities, vaccination levels and the risk of coronavirus variants.
Austria, Canada, Hong Kong, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and Taiwan could also be added to the list as these destinations all meet the required levels to change to ‘green status.
The new additions would bring the total number of countries on the green list to 39, providing more quarantine-free foreign holiday options to Brits who are still yet to be fully vaccinated.
How is the green list decided?
The decision on which countries are added to each list is based on a range of criteria, taking into account public health advice and the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s assessment of the latest Covid data.
The criteria for the lists includes:
- 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
Mr Boyle has accurately predicted changes to the UK travel list before based on these key requirements.
To be considered ‘safe’, he said a country must meet the following criteria:
- Have an infection rate at or below 20 per 100,000 of the population
- Have a rate of positive coronavirus cases at 1.5 per cent or less
- Have a testing rate of one or more per 100,000 of the population
Mr Boyle's analysis also shows 11 countries currently on the red list, including India, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, could be moved to amber following the next review.
When is the next travel review?
The latest travel review took place on Thursday 24 June, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announcing 16 more destinations would be added to the green list from 30 June.
The next review is expected to take place three weeks after this on 15 July, just before all restrictions are due to end in England.
Children and adults who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus will no longer have to quarantine on their return from amber list countries to England from 19 July.
Mr Shapps made the announcement to MPs on Thursday (8 July), confirming that holidaymakers from the UK who have received two jabs from the NHS will no longer be required to self-isolate for 10 days on their return to England from destinations on the amber list from this date.
Under-18s will also be exempt from the requirement and guidance not to travel to countries on the amber list will be lifted by 19 July, when the majority of restrictions are expected to be eased in England.
However, people returning from holidays from amber destinations, including France, Spain and Portugal, will still be required to take a Covid-19 test three days before arrival in England.
They will also have to take a test on or before the second day of their return, but will be exempted from the day eight test.