Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will announce an update to the UK’s travel list today, the second time since the traffic light system was instated.
UK’s travel list to be updated today
During his announcement, Shapps is expected to announce that Malta and the Balearic islands will be added to the green list, allowing UK residents to enjoy a sunny European holiday without the stresses of isolation upon their return.
The move will be conditional upon approval by ministers at a COVID operations committee meeting. However, a senior government source revealed to The Guardianthat it was ‘highly likely.’
Currently, there are just 11 countries on the green list, including Australia, New Zealand and Israel. These green listed destinations don’t require travellers to quarantine on return to the UK, but many are not accessible destinations. Instead, most holiday-goers are returning to the UK from amber list countries, meaning returnees must self-isolate and undergo coronavirus testing.
Ministers are set to revisit the UK’s travel list every three weeks. The latest update took place at the start of the month, with Portugal being moved to the amber list. Prospect green list countries such as Spain, Finland and Fiji all saw no changes in their positioning.
Green list countries are decided based on the percentage of vaccinated residents in each country, as well as rates of infection and the prevalence of any variants of concern.
Isolation could be scrapped for vaccinated Brits
In addition to today’s review, the government has confirmed that travel rules will be revisited on the 28th of June, with quarantine requirements possibly being removed for fully vaccinated travellers from amber list countries. Grant Shapps told the BBC on Wednesday:
If you've been double vaccinated then of course we need to look at what the science says. We've said that Monday is the point to review that data, so we are coming up to having a look at it. We're looking at it in the next few days and I'll have more to say.
The change is expected to take effect in August, but some ministers are trying to push the move forward to July 19th to coincide with the lifting of all COVID restrictions.
While the UK government has begun to look at relaxing some travel rules for fully vaccinated travellers, other countries are alarmed at the Delta variant outbreak in the UK. Nations such as Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands are now insisting that Brits isolate upon arrival.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out yesterday demanding that all EU countries should require Britons to quarantine:
In our country, if you come from Great Britain you have to go into quarantine – and that's not the case in every European country, and that's what I would like to see.