France and Italy lead a list of countries with low infection rates and rising vaccination figures. Their addition to the green list would be a huge boost to the travel industry.
Meanwhile, discussions are underway on removing quarantine restrictions for Amber List countries for all fully vaccinated people – a move that could be approved before the end of July.
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When is the next travel announcement?
The government reviews the traffic light system every three weeks.
This means that the next announcement is expected to take place on Thursday, July 15, and any changes will take effect the following week, likely Wednesday, July 21.
The Department for Transport said: ‘These regular review points will allow the government to balance helping the public understand Covid requirements while traveling to England while allowing us to continuously assess the risk for different countries. “
Which countries could be added to the green list?
Robert Boyle, former chief strategy officer at British Airways, claims to have deciphered the algorithm the government uses to decide on the green list.
It includes seven-day infection rates of less than 20 per 100,000 people and less than 1.5% of Covid tests giving positive results, as well as high vaccination rates.
By its metrics, The telegraph reports that 22 countries could be added to the green list during the next review.
These are France, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Slovakia, North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Lebanon, Taiwan and Vietnam.
France and Italy have fully vaccinated just under a third of their population, about half the rate for the UK.
However, their number of cases is significantly lower. France recorded 2,664 new infections on July 1 and Italy 879, compared to 27,556 in the United Kingdom.
How the traffic light system works
The lists are decided on the basis of the following criteria:
- The percentage of a country’s population that has been vaccinated
- The infection rate
- The prevalence of worrisome variants
- The country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing
Here are the rules for each traffic light system listing:
- Vert: Arrivals will need to pass a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test no later than the second day of their return to the UK – but will not need to be quarantined upon return (unless they receive a positive result) or take additional tests
- Amber: Arrivals will need to be quarantined for a period of 10 days and pass a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on the second and eighth day. There will be the option to take an additional test on the fifth day to end self-isolation earlier
- Rouge: Arrivals will be subject to the restrictions currently in place for ‘red list’ countries which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing, and mandatory PCR testing on days two and eight.
The government has told people not to travel to countries not on the “green list” except for essential reasons.
PCR tests should be booked through one of the government approved suppliers.
The government has been looking for ways to lower the price of testing, with PCR testing typically costing around £ 120 to £ 160, while some travel providers have heavily subsidized the costs.
Amber List Trip for Double Sting
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the government plans to open Amber List countries to fully vaccinated people later this summer.
“We are continuing our efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination program, we are now able to consider lifting the quarantine period for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from countries amber – showing a real sign of progress, ”said Shapps.
This would essentially make the Amber List countries green for people with a double bite.
Time signaled that this could be introduced as early as July 26 – in time for school holidays.