Which countries will actually make the 'green list'? Grant Shapps warns of 'cautious' easing as Covid rages in Europe
THE UK is on course to drop its ban on international travel on May 17, according to the Transport Secretary, in a boost to holidays abroad by next month.
However, he also warned that the UK needs to remain "cautious" as other countries are further behind with the vaccine rollout, and facing third Covid waves.
Grant Shapps said earlier today that the "the data does continue to look good," in regards to lifting the travel ban.
He also confirmed he'll soon unveil which countries will fall into the three categories under Britain's new "traffic light" travel system.
Only "green" countries, which will be classified as the safest, will be able to avoid quarantine restrictions when returning to the UK, although will require a pre-departure Covid test and another on day two.
Those going to amber countries will be required to go into 10-day isolation and take two tests while only British citizens and residents will be able to return from red countries, and they'll have to pay for the £1,750 hotel quarantine.
To be placed onto the green list it is suggested that the UK government may require less than 50 cases per 100,000, over 14 days, with a vaccination rate of at least 30 per cent of the adult population, according to the Telegraph.
Here are some of the countries which may fall into this criteria – and open up to Brits by next month.
Malta is one of the most likely holiday destinations to be on the green list, with 50 per cent of the population given the first jab, while one in five are fully vaccinated.
The seven-day average of new cases is just 28, with just one death reported yesterday.
Malta has already said they want vaccinated Brits back by June 1.
Gibraltar was the first nation to offer the vaccination to all adults, with 97 per cent of the population vaccinated.
The country hasn't reported any new cases since April 5, with the last death reported in March.
Not only are cases falling in Portugal – with less than 500 daily new cases on average – but the country has reported no new daily deaths in 24 hours, the first time in nine months.
The vaccine rollout is currently at 24 per cent of the adult population having the first jab.
Portugal was removed from the UK red list back in March, where it was initially placed due to the threat of the Brazil strain due to flight routes between the two countries, but Portugal recently said they want Brits back from May 17.
Israel is one of the few destinations beating the UK's vaccination rollout, with 62 per cent given the first jab.
The country is likely to welcome Brits back this summer – Orit Farkash-Hacohen, the Israeli tourism minister has said that vaccinated UK tourists are likely to be back by the end of May.
Israel reported just 325 new cases yesterday, with a seven-day average of just 122.
The Maldives remained one of the top holiday destinations for Brits during the pandemic, having never closed their borders to the UK.
Currently, 53 per cent of the 530,000 population have been given the first dose. with just 93 new infections reported on average per day.
Vaccinated travellers are likely to be able to enter without restrictions, although current rules only require a negative test, with no quarantine measures.
The country even said they will offer the vaccine to tourist arrivals this summer, once their own population is fully vaccinated.
Also beating the UK's vaccination programme is the Seychelles, with 67 per cent given the first dose of the vaccination.
The holiday destination's seven-day average case rate also remains at just 49.
Tourists can currently visit the Seychelles as long as they have a negative Covid tests, with no quarantine on arrival required.
The US is also leading in the vaccine rollout, leading to hope it could also make the green list.
The country has given the first jab to 42 per cent of the adult population, with hopes of a travel corridor between the US and the UK.
While they may make the green list, there are fears that it will not be reciprocated – the US recently put the UK on the highest risk level, continuing the travel ban which has been in place since March 2020.
Some experts hope that as many as 30 countries could be on the UK green list when it is announced in the next few weeks.
Countries including Spain, Greece and Italy have all said they will welcome Brits back this summer, although are unlikely to make the green list initially.
Many are also pushing for vaccine passports, with only fully-inoculated Brits able to avoid travel restrictions.
While mainland European destinations may not reopen at first, a travel corridor scheme with the holiday islands which is similar to last year may restart.
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