Travelers’ hopes for a summer getaway to Europe will be boosted by the expected addition of Malta and the Balearic Islands to the Green Travel List to England.
The move, which will likely be announced Thursday by Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps, is conditional on ministers signing at a meeting of the Covid operations committee.
But a senior government source said it was very likely – provided there was no alarming last minute data.
A handful of African countries are also expected to be on the red list, from which travel is banned for everyone except British residents and nationals.
Malta was supposed to be added to the green list – meaning travelers could avoid quarantine – three weeks ago, but its status has remained unchanged, while Portugal has been downgraded to the amber list.
Currently, those arriving from Amber List countries must quarantine themselves for 10 days – or six if using the test-to-release system. The need to isolate will be dropped for those who are fully vaccinated against Covid, but the Guardian has been told some ministers would be nervous about introducing the change too quickly.
They want to push back easing from July to August, fearing that if too many people try to offer their second coronavirus vaccine, it could threaten supplies as the government rushes to offer all UK adults their first vaccine from here July 19.
The Guardian also understands that the government will try to align the traffic light system with the Foreign Office’s separate travel advice, which takes into account risks other than Covid. Whitehall insiders admit the advice has confused those looking to travel overseas.
Steve Baker, Conservative MP and Covid Recovery Group Vice Chairman, said: “If Boris Johnson does not let us take our personal and collective responsibilities by trusting vaccines imminently, we are facing a hollow and haunted society without much that makes life worth living, such as travel and sightseeing.