Those desperate to go on an overseas beach vacation eagerly await the revelation of countries they will soon be able to visit without having to quarantine themselves on their return – but have been urged to be patient before the “Big bang” of reservations.
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While only a “handful” of countries are expected to achieve coveted green status from May 17 when the list is announced later this week, a three-week review will pave the way for the addition of new places.
Portugal are set to be on the initial list, with an insider saying they will turn green “soon” even if they miss this time around.
Popular destinations such as Spain, Greece and France are drawn by Downing Street to be added by the end of June, the Telegraph reports.
A government source said the list will be updated every few weeks to give the British the chance to escape,
“It’s a rolling and evolving list that will start cautiously but could start to change quickly,” they told the point of sale.
“It’s not like a one-off list that affects the entire summer. It will be updated and more countries will be added. “
The ministers are also confident that the Caribbean and the United States will also be deemed safe enough to be added to the “green” list by the end of June as well, with increased vaccination rates.
A Downing Street source pleaded with holidaymakers to be patient before the “summer vacation big bang” in the coming weeks, Time reports.
“June will look a lot more like normal, so there will be a lot of traditional vacation destinations on the list,” they said.
This means that holiday islands in Spain and Greece should be excluded from the ‘green’ list – despite having reported fewer cases of Covid than the mainland.
With Spain and Greece moving towards orange status, that means all of their islands will also be excluded from the approved list, including the Balearics – whose Covid rate is less than a quarter of Spain’s – and the Canary Islands, which have vaccinated nearly a third of its adult population.
The Balearic Islands Tourism Minister said it should be considered region by region.
“The UK government (should) take into account the epidemiological situation of separate regions, rather than different countries,” Iago Negueruela told The Telegraph.
“We have the technology available to sequence the virus and its strains at a higher percentage than any other region.
“We have made enormous efforts to contain the pandemic, and the epidemiological figures for the islands are among the best in Europe. “
“WE MUST BE CAREFUL”
Boris Johnson is still considering the “green” travel list and said today that his approach to overseas travel this summer will be sensible and cautious to avoid “an influx of disease”.
It is understood that the list will remain small and will likely include Gibraltar, Malta, Israel and Iceland.
During a campaign visit to Hartlepool, the Prime Minister told reporters: “We want to make some opening on May 17, but I don’t think the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from everywhere else.
“Certainly not and we have to be very, very tough, and we have to be as careful as possible as we continue to open up. “
It comes as the UK recorded just one new death today – the first time the death toll has been so low since last summer.
It seems to show that the vaccination program is working, with less serious illnesses leading to fewer deaths.
The last time the number of daily deaths was as low as this was on August 30 of last year.
Meanwhile, the EU plans to let in tourists who haven’t had the hang of it.
Brussels offered hope for sunny breaks after revealing proposals to ease border rules for those vaccinated – as well as those in countries with low infection rates.
Under current EU restrictions, only people from seven countries, including Australia and Singapore, are allowed into the block for non-essential reasons.
But new proposals would mean that foreign nationals fully vaccinated or from countries with a “good epidemiological situation” would be allowed to travel.
The risk signal light system will see the world sliced into green, orange, or red areas depending on vaccine deployment and case rates, as well as any new variants found.
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Green zones will mean travel without quarantine but testing before and after entry.
Travelers from Orange List countries will be required to quarantine at home for 10 days upon arrival.
Entry to Red List countries will still be banned, with anyone coming from these countries being forced to pay to be isolated in a hotel when they arrive at their own expense.