Portugal's easing of travel restrictions discussed by Simon Calder
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A UK travel update is expected to take place by the end of this week. As rumours circulate about the end of the travel lists being in sight, what countries are at risk of turning red? And what countries could be added to the amber and green lists?
A travel update is expected this week from UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Mr Shapps has been reviewing the UK’s traffic light system for travel every three weeks.
This week’s announcement is predicted to take place on September 16, but this has not yet been confirmed by the Department for Transport.
After the last update saw Thailand and Montenegro moved to the red list, anxious travellers are asking what countries could be next?
Travel industry insiders are hopeful that due to relatively low rates of infection amongst travellers, as well as rising vaccination rates, the red list won’t be expanded.
In fact, some travel commentators have given tip-offs the traffic light system might soon be scrapped.
However, is there a country on the green list that could plummet all the way down to the red list?
What countries are currently on the red list?
There are currently 62 countries and territories on the UK’s red list.
Many of the countries on the red list are in Africa.
Popular tourist destinations currently off-limits to UK travellers on the red list include Thailand, Maldives, Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia and Seychelles.
What countries are at risk of moving to the red list?
Whispers at the moment are there is likely to be few – if any – additions to the red list, and hopefully the trend we will see this week is countries being upgraded to amber or green.
Rumours, tweeted by PC agency CEO Paul Charles, are the travel lists as we know it will soon be binned, and rather than blanket bans, travellers will be assessed based on individual risk such as vaccination status.
However, speaking to Sky News, travel expert Tim White suggested Grenada could swing all the way down from the green list to red, owing to their infection rates rising to 1,000 cases per 100,000 people.
According to Mr White, there’s also recently been a spike in cases in travellers returning from Jamaica, so they may be in danger of turning red.
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Serbia is looking worryingly similar to the climbing rates in neighbouring country Montenegro that caused it to be added to the red list, however, they have a higher vaccination rate so could be spared.
What countries are likely to turn green or amber?
South Africa has been lobbying to be removed from the red list.
Pressure from within the Government is mounting, with MP Ben Bradshaw, Lord Oates and Baroness Chalker signing a statement saying the “evidence clearly points to” South Africa being taken off the red list.
Taking to Twitter, Tim White predicted Pakistan, Maldives, Turkey, Kenya and South Africa may be moved from the red list in this week’s update.
What are the red list restrictions?
According to the UK’s traffic light system for travel, red is the list of countries which have the strictest rules for travellers returning from them to the UK.
If you’ve been in a country on the red list within 10 days of travelling to the UK, you are only allowed to enter the UK if you are a resident or a national.
Before arriving in the UK you will need to arrange a PCR test as well as book a stay in one of the Government-approved managed quarantine hotels.
Quarantine hotels are very pricey, costing £2,285 for one adult for 10 days (11 nights). You will also have to do two more PCR tests across the 10-day stay.
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