We’re days away from the next travel announcement, and the travel industry is hoping for major greenlist additions.
The most recent review saw Malta and the Spanish Balearic Islands added to the list, along with a number of Caribbean Islands and British Overseas Territories.
Italy and Bulgaria are among the top vacation destinations that could make the list this time around.
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Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming announcement.
When is the next travel announcement?
The government reviews the traffic light system every three weeks.
This means that the next announcement is expected to take place on Thursday, July 15, and any changes will take effect the following week, likely Wednesday, July 21.
The Department for Transport said: “These regular review points will allow the government to balance helping the public understand Covid requirements while traveling to England while allowing us to continuously assess the risk for different countries.”
Which countries could be added to the green list?
Robert Boyle, former chief strategy officer at British Airways, claims to have deciphered the algorithm the government uses to decide on the green list.
It includes seven-day infection rates of less than 20 per 100,000 people and less than 1.5% of Covid tests giving positive results, as well as high vaccination rates.
According to its parameters, there are 12 countries that could be added to the Allow List during the next review.
These are Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, Canada, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Italy has fully vaccinated around 37% of its population, about half the rate for the UK.
However, its number of cases is significantly lower. It recorded 1,391 new infections on Sunday, July 11, and has a seven-day infection rate of just 13 per 100,000 people.
How the traffic light system works
The lists are decided on the basis of the following criteria:
- The percentage of a country’s population that has been vaccinated
- The infection rate
- The prevalence of worrisome variants
- The country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing
Here are the rules for each traffic light system listing:
- Green: Arrivals will be required to take a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test no later than the second day of their return to the UK – but will not need to self-quarantine at their home. return (unless they receive a positive result) or take additional testing
- Amber: Arrivals will need to be quarantined for a period of 10 days and pass a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on the second and eighth day. There will be the option to take an additional test on the fifth day to end self-isolation earlier
- Red: Arrivals will be subject to the restrictions currently in place for ‘red list’ countries which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing, and mandatory PCR testing on days two and eight.
The government has told people not to travel to countries not on the “green list” except for essential reasons.
PCR tests should be booked through one of the government approved suppliers.
The government has been looking for ways to lower the price of testing, with PCR testing typically costing around £ 120 to £ 160, while some travel providers have heavily subsidized the costs.
Amber List Trip for Double Sting
The government has confirmed that people who have received the two Covid vaccines will be allowed to travel to Amber List countries without having to quarantine themselves upon their return from July 19.
Under the new rules, holidaymakers in the UK who have received two doses of the NHS will no longer be required to self-isolate for 10 days upon their return to England from Orange List destinations.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said those under the age of 18 would also be exempt from this requirement and official guidelines not to travel to Amber List countries will be lifted from July 19.
To qualify as fully vaccinated, he explained, “A full vaccination means 14 days have passed since your last dose of the vaccine. “
People returning from vacation from amber destinations will still need to take a Covid-19 test three days before their return.
Arrivals will also be required to take a test no later than the second day of their return, as per previous restrictions, but will be exempt from the eighth day test.