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.
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.
‘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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