UK travel update: Which countries could be added to the green list and red list

By Julie Delahaye

The UK government is expected to announce its next travel review on Thursday, September 16, with possible changes to the green, amber and red list countries.

So, which countries could be affected in the latest changes?

There are various factors that come into play including a destination's Covid case numbers, vaccination rates, and new variants.

We've looked at Reuters' Covid tracker and unearthed where case numbers are falling such as France, Spain and Portugal, to determine the likelihood of them going green. We've also looked at where there are rises in case numbers such as green destinations like Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Norway, which could potentially be moved to the amber list.

There has also been speculation that the green and amber lists could be scrapped entirely by October 1, although there has been no confirmation of this at the time of writing.

Check out our predictions below...

Which countries could be added to the green list?

Italy could be a contender for the green list, as the country reported 58 infections per 100,000 people in the last seven days, and is estimated to have administered vaccine doses to about 67% of its population.

Meanwhile popular holiday destinations such as France, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands are all seeing drops in their coronavirus case numbers, while being on track to have administered vaccine doses to the majority of their populations.

This could make them possible contenders for the green watchlist.

Italy's low Covid case numbers and advancing vaccine roll-out could see it added to the green list (Getty Images)

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Andorra, the UAE and Cyprus also have relatively low infection numbers that are falling. It's worth noting the UAE was only recently added to the amber list.

The green list and green watchlist are the most tempting options for holidaymakers as you don't need to self-isolate or quarantine back in the UK. Instead, you'll need a pre-departure test as well as a PCR test on day two of being back.

There are already some tempting destinations open to Brits for holidays including Croatia, Iceland and Malta and there are hopes that more countries could be added to the quarantine-free list in the next travel review.

Which countries could go on the red list?

There's been some speculation that Jamaica could be added to the red list because the Foreign Office recently changed its guidance to advise against non-essential to the island "based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks". Jamaica is currently on the amber list.

Other amber destinations which have seen Covid case numbers increase include St Kitts and Nevis, as well as St Lucia, which could put them at risk of being moved to the red list.

Jamaica is one of the countries that could be added to the red list (Getty Images)

Under the red list rules, anyone returning to the UK from a red list destination will need to stay in a quarantine hotel for at least 10 days, and fork out the costs themselves - which can be from £2,285.

Only British nationals, Irish nationals or those with residence rights in the UK will be allowed to enter the UK from a red list country.

If you've booked a holiday to a green or amber country that is subsequently placed on the red list, your tour operator should cancel your holiday. In this case, you'll be entitled to a full refund, although you may also be offered alternatives such as rebooking or credit vouchers if you'd prefer these.

If you booked a flight and hotel separately you'll need to get in touch with your airline and accommodation. If an airline hasn't cancelled the flight, you won't automatically be entitled to a full refund - you may need to accept vouchers or rebooking. As for your accommodation, whether you can get your money back will depend on the terms of your booking policy.

Which countries could go on the amber list?

There are a number of green list destinations which in the last seven days have seen an increase in Covid case numbers, or are currently at their peak.

This includes a number of Caribbean islands such as Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, Dominica and Grenada. For example, Grenada has reported 984 infections per 100K people in the last seven days, and is estimated to be ay 98% of its peak.

Austria, Israel and Jerusalem, Norway, Slovenia are also green list destinations that have seen a recent increase in Covid cases.

Barbados could be one of the Caribbean islands moved to the amber list (E+)

However, there's also good news in that a number of red list countries could be going amber - meaning Brits may be able to visit for non-essential travel reasons.

One travel expert has predicted that as many as 24 countries could be taken off the amber list including Argentina and Egypt.

Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, wrote on Twitter: "There have been no new #Covid Variants of Concern since 11th May. Our analysis shows 24 countries should come off the #UK red list immediately including #Argentina #Egypt #Kenya #Namibia #Oman #Pakistan #SouthAfrica #Uruguay #Zambia @ThePCAgency."

Under the current amber list rules, you can visit for non-essential reasons. On your return to the UK you'll need to take a pre-departure test, as well as PCR tests on day two of being back. Adults who are not fully vaccinated against Covid will need to self-isolate for 10 days at home and take another PCR test on day eight.

We've also got a guide with tips for booking amber list holidays including what happens if the destination goes red.

  • The Covid situation and travel rules to a destination can change quickly, so if you are planning a trip you should always check the latest Foreign Office travel advice for the latest updates and entry requirements you need to know.

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