Why Brits should be cautious about booking holidays – four key things to know

Boris Johnson says opportunity to travel is "through double jab"

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Despite the changes, which open up travel to a limited yet widened selection of places in Europe, ministers have been accused of making foreign travel even more complex with the addition of a whole new green watchlist. Here are the key things you need to know about the most recent travel update.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, we’re now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from amber countries – showing a real sign of progress.

“It’s right that we continue with this cautious approach, to protect public health and the vaccine rollout as our top priority while ensuring that our route out of the international travel restrictions is sustainable.”

However, travel industry figures said the Government has just created “further complexity and confusion”.

A number of countries expected to make the list have unfortunately been rejected, including Croatia and Italy.

Which countries have made the green list?

The Government announced that 14 destinations – including the holiday islands Mallorca, Ibiza, Malta and Madeira – will be open to travel to without UK quarantine restrictions from 4am on Wednesday.

The list of countries on the green list is as follows:

Antigua and Barbuda
Balearic Islands
British Antarctic Territory
Britsh Indian Ocean Territory
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oena Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands

What is the green watch list?

All of the countries above except Malta are also part of an additional list – the green watch list.

This means that these countries could move to the amber or red list at very short notice – so holidaymakers should book and travel with caution.

However, it has not been confirmed how long it would take to move a green watchlist destination to the amber list – whether it would be overnight or in a couple of days.

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Which countries are on the red list?

Elsewhere, the UK has added the following areas to its red list
• Eritrea
• Haiti
• Dominican Republic
• Mongolia
• Tunisia
• Uganda

What if I have both jabs?

Ministers also said they would allow quarantine-free travel for fully-vaccinated Britons to amber list countries.

Boris Johnson had earlier raised hopes that double-vaccinated holiday makers would be given clarity, saying: “I think that the real opportunity we all have now is to open up travel through the double jab.”

These travellers would still be required to undertake Covid tests.

The change would essentially mean amber list destinations would be equivalent to green list locations for those who have received both vaccinations.

This would open up the possibility of quarantine-free travel to most major holiday destinations in Europe and the USA.

However, a date has not been given for when this will begin, but it is expected to begin at some point in the summer.

Huw Merriman, the chairman of the Commons Transport Select Committee, said: “Like an oasis just out of reach, travel to more than 150 countries on the amber list is still unnecessarily difficult.

“In the latest analysis of figures from NHS Test and Trace, only 0.4 per cent of passengers to amber list destinations between May and June tested positive for coronavirus.

“For 151 of the previous 167 amber list countries, there were no positive cases at all.

“The Government must apply its own logic of using the data to admit going abroad is safe for those who have had both jabs.

“They must consider this in time for the start of the July summer holidays.”

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