The full list of green countries is Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Israel and Jerusalem.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps also revealed that key destinations such as France, Spain and Greece would not be on the green list when international travel resumes from 17 May. Meanwhile, Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal have been placed on the red list by the UK government.
Countries are categorised based on their Covid-19 risk, including levels of Covid infections, the successful rollouts of vaccination programmes and whether there are any new coronavirus variants in circulation in the destination. The list will be reviewed every three weeks by the Department for Transport. The measures only govern the rules for returning to the UK, which means individual countries may have their own additional Covid border controls, testing requirements and other measures that travellers will need to comply with to enter these destinations.
A first step in a return to international travel
“Today marks the first step in our cautious return to international travel, with measures designed above all else to protect public health and ensure we don’t throw away the hard-fought gains we’ve all strived to earn this year,” said Shapps. “This is a new way of doing things, and people should expect travel to be different this summer – with longer checks at the borders, as part of tough measures to prevent new strains of the virus entering the country and putting our fantastic vaccine rollout at risk.”
Countries on green list could be more expensive
However, while the new plans give hope for the travel industry, some believe more clarification would help travel and tourism to recover faster.
And research by UK travel agency Butter revealed that holidaymakers face a higher cost when looking to jet away this summer should they opt for a destination designated as green in the Government’s traffic light tier system.
Butter analysed the average cost of a seven-day holiday in each destination for both hotels and flights before looking at the average cost based on their current designated traffic light colour.
The research found that with an average of £981 for a seven-day trip, green tier destinations are by far the most expensive. In fact, they came in 35 per cent more expensive than the average cost of a seven-day holiday in amber tier destinations (£727).
Timothy Davis, Co-Founder and CEO of Butter, commented: “Holidaymakers will now be climbing over each other to book a trip away to a green tier destination this summer, having not been able to take a proper holiday in quite some time. With any luck, we’ll see some more amber destinations hit the green list before the summer comes and this will give consumers even more choice when looking to travel.”