/Travel rules: Only eight countries to feature on green list from May

Travel rules: Only eight countries to feature on green list from May


Just eight countries are set to feature on green travel list
Israel and the USA are among only eight countries the UK is likely to permit travel to, according to a new report (Picture: Getty)

Movement between the UK and all but eight countries will still be restricted after ministers lift the non-essential travel ban next month, according to new analysis.

The current roadmap out of lockdown will see general travel resume on May 17 under a ‘traffic light’ system designed to limit arrivals from countries struggling to beat Covid.

Green-listed countries will be free to visit, while returning from an amber country will require 10 days of self-isolation and red-listed countries will be off-limits.

Research commissioned by Robert Boyle, a former British Airways strategy chief, predicted the state of various countries’ outbreaks in May and compared it to travel risk criteria set out by the UK government.

The report said nearly all of Europe would be on the amber list including Spain, Greece and Italy, according to the Daily Telegraph.

It found a number of popular destinations including France, Turkey and Croatia should be red-listed but said ministers are likely to swerve such a move for political and economic reasons.

Only eight territories were predicted to be green-listed, including USA and Israel, whose vaccination efforts are world-leading.

The others are: Gibraltar, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, Australia and New Zealand.


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The report said Britons will likely be allowed to travel to the US, but it’s not clear if the feeling’s mutual (Picture: Getty Images)

The modelling is based on vaccination rates, Covid case numbers, the number of variants spreading and a country’s ability to trace variants with gene sequencing.

Australia and New Zealand are expected to keep tight restrictions on entry despite very low case numbers.

Mr Boyle predicted Gibraltar and Israel would be the quickest to open up to tourists.

The British Overseas Territory is the ‘surest case for green’, he said, as it ‘has essentially zero cases of any type and the population is fully vaccinated.


A few passengers walk around the near-deserted departure area at Heathrow airport Terminal 5 in west London on September 9, 2019, as the airline's first-ever pilots' strike began. - British Airways on Monday cancelled almost all flights departing and arriving into the UK, as the airline's first-ever pilots' strike began, sparking travel chaos for tens of thousands of passengers. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
The report suggests travel is unlikely to open up quickly despite the easing of restrictions (Picture: AFP)

‘Israel must be the next most likely. Again, it has vaccinated close to its entire population and case numbers are below even last year’s threshold.’

But he did not rule out early summer holidays closer to home, pointing out island destinations such as Corfu and Mallorca could open up sooner than the European mainland.

The report added: ‘Last year, the Spanish and Greek islands were given a lower-risk rating than the mainland and that could happen again this year.’

The government warned against making plans based on industry forecasts.

It said in a statement: ‘It is too early to predict which countries will be on which list over the summer, and the government continues to consider a range of factors to inform the restrictions placed on them.

‘We will set out by early May which countries will fall into which category, as well as confirming whether international travel can resume from 17 May 2021.’

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