Amber List countries that could be set for travel to UK without quarantine on next review
A handful of key European destinations could be added to the UK’s green list in the next travel review, the data shows.
France and Italy lead a list of countries with low infection rates and rising vaccination figures. Their addition to the green list would be a huge boost to the travel industry.
Fully vaccinated people should be allowed to travel to Amber List countries without having to self-quarantine upon their return from Monday, July 19.
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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.
By its metrics, The telegraph reports that 22 countries could be added to the green list during the next review.
These are France, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Slovakia, North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Lebanon, Taiwan and Vietnam.
France and Italy have fully vaccinated about a third of their population, about half the rate for the UK.
However, their number of cases is significantly lower. France recorded 796 new infections on July 5 and Italy 480, compared to 27,100 in the UK.
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 need to take a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test by the second day of their return to the UK at the latest – but will not need to quarantine on their return (unless they test positive) or take additional tests
- 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 must be booked through one of the government approved providers.
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
Under the new rules, UK holidaymakers who have received two NHS shots will no longer be required to self-isolate for 10 days upon their return to England from Orange List destinations from that point on.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said those under the age of 18 would also be exempt from the 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 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.