LiveLeeds News Live: What holiday destinations will be on the green list? - What we know so far

All the latest from Friday, May 7.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 7:21 am
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 7:24 am

Many people are eagerly awaiting an update on the rules for foreign holidays.

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Here is what we know so far ahead of the release of the list:

Leeds News Live: What holiday destinations will be on the green list? - What we know so far

Leeds News Live: What holiday destinations will be on the green list? - What we know so far

Last updated: Friday, 07 May, 2021, 07:18

  • What holiday destinations will be on the green list?

What you might have missed:

What we know so far:

– Can I go on holiday yet?

No. Overseas leisure travel from the UK is banned under coronavirus rules.

– When will that change?

May 17 is the earliest that overseas leisure travel will be allowed for people in England under Boris Johnson’s road map for easing restrictions.

The Prime Minister said on Wednesday there will be “some opening up” on that date.

– What about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

The devolved administrations have not set dates for the restart of foreign holidays.

– What will the rules be for returning to England?

That depends on where you have been. Destinations will be categorised as red, amber or green, with different quarantine and testing requirements.

– What happens if I go to a green country?

You will not need to self-isolate, and will only need one post-arrival test.

– How about amber and red?

People entering England from an amber country must quarantine at home for at least five days, and take a minimum of two post-arrival tests.

Those returning from a red list country must stay in a quarantine hotel for 11 nights at a cost of £1,750.

– What criteria will be used for putting countries into categories?

Assessments will be based on a range of factors, including the proportion of a country’s population that has been vaccinated, rates of infection, emerging new variants, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

– What destinations will be on the green list?

The Government will publish the list on Friday, but there is speculation it could include Portugal, Malta, Gibraltar and Israel.

– How about the most popular destinations?

Summer favourites such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece are expected to be on the amber list initially.

They could switch to green when the situation is reviewed at a “checkpoint” on June 28.

– Will other countries welcome UK tourists?

A number of popular destinations have expressed their desire for the return of UK holidaymakers this summer.

Portugal hopes tourists will be back in May, while Spain is planning to reopen for international visitors in June.

– What about vaccine passports?

Destinations are likely to require holidaymakers to show evidence they have received a coronavirus vaccine or taken a recent negative test.

Grant Shapps has confirmed that people in England will be able to display their status using the NHS app, but there are doubts over whether it will be ready for May 17.

Holidaymakers to find out quarantine-free destinations

Holidaymakers will finally discover which destinations they can visit this summer without quarantining, with Portugal, Iceland and Malta among those expected to be on the travel green list.

Gibraltar and Israel could also make the cut when the list is published on Friday following weeks of speculation.

Quarantine and coronavirus testing requirements for people arriving in England once foreign holidays are permitted from May 17 will be based on a new traffic light system, with destinations placed on green, amber and red lists.

People arriving from a green location will not need to quarantine on their return and will have to take one post-arrival test.

Those returning from an amber list country must self-isolate for at least five days and take two tests.

The red list requires an 11-night stay in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750 for solo travellers.

Assessments will be based on a range of factors, including the proportion of a country’s population that has been vaccinated, rates of infection, emerging new variants, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

Air fares to Portugal have already started to soar, with Ryanair charging £152 for a flight from Stansted to Lisbon on May 17, compared with £15 on May 16.

EasyJet is also charging £234 for a flight from Luton to the Algarve on May 17, but just £73 the following day.

Meanwhile, Tui, the UK’s largest holiday company, announced it will offer customers coronavirus tests for a fraction of standard prices.

The cheapest package – aimed at people returning from green destinations – will be available for just £20, and consist of a lateral flow test and PCR test.

PCR tests alone typically cost £120 each although several travel companies offer them for £60.

The latest weekly rate of new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people is 21.2 in the UK, 26.5 in Portugal and 28.6 in Malta.

The most popular European destinations, such as Spain, Italy, France and Greece, are initially expected to be on the amber list, but could switch to green ahead of the peak summer holiday months.

Spain has a seven-day rate of 98.2 cases, while Greece is on 113.9.

No plans for the resumption of foreign holidays have been announced by the UK’s devolved administrations.

Meanwhile, a coronavirus strain first detected in India is likely to be elevated to a “variant of concern” after clusters were found in several areas of England, according to reports.

Cases of the variant have been found in schools, care homes and places of worship in the North West, London and the East Midlands, largely linked to travel, Channel 4 News reported.

The broadcaster said it is “highly likely” it will be declared a “variant of concern” on Friday, though cases remain relatively low.

Such a change can mean an escalation in response from Public Health England (PHE), including ordering surge testing.

The strain – B1617.2 – is one of three related variants first seen in India which have been detected in the UK and designated “under investigation” by PHE.

The others are B1617.1 and B1617.3.

According to the most recent data by PHE, there have been 202 confirmed cases of B1617.2 in the UK. Reports suggest there have been at least 48 clusters.

There have been 193 confirmed cases of the B1617.1 variant and five of the B1617.3 mutation.

Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is expected to recommended that people aged under 40 should be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca jab following concerns about blood clots.

The policy currently applies to those under 30 but the age threshold could be raised after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency reported new figures on clots linked to the vaccine.

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