Green light travel announcement happening today
Three weeks after the last update, the government is expected to announce its next review of the “traffic light” travel system today, 25 August, or tomorrow, 26 August.
The Department for Transport (DfT) will decide which countries are “safe” enough from the risk of arrivals reimporting coronavirus infections to join its hallowed green list, from where travellers need not quarantine when entering the UK, regardless of vaccination status.
The 36-strong list is expected to see a number of additions and removals in the upcoming announcement. Meanwhile, Jamaica, Morocco and Aruba have all been touted as candidates for plunging from amber to red, necessitating 11 nights of hotel quarantine.
But when is the announcement detailing the latest changes to the green, amber and red lists? Here’s what we know so far.
Which countries are currently on the green list?
There are 36 places on the green list currently: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Grenada, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel and Jerusalem, Latvia, Madeira, Malta, Montserrat, New Zealand, Norway, Pitcairn Islands, Romania, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovakia, Taiwan and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Which countries could go green?
As ever, predictions come heavily caveated with the fact they are just that: predictions. As was evident at the last few reviews, even analysing the available data isn’t enough to guess with any certainty which countries might make the cut.
But some analysts and experts have thrown out suggestions based on current infection rates.
Poland, Bhutan, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Saudi Arabia have all been touted as destinations with low enough Covid figures to warrant a move to the green list.
Research by the PC Agency reported on 22 August showed that declining cases in these countries meant they were likely to be considered for an upgrade from amber to green.
Meanwhile, data and Covid expert, Tim White, has has also predicted that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic should be bumped up from amber to green.
Which countries could go from red to amber?
Experts have also forecast which destinations have a chance of moving off the dreaded red list, which necessitates 11 nights of hotel quarantine for arrivals to the UK at a cost of more than £2,000.
Tim White has thrown out his best contenders to get an amber boost: the Maldives, Turkey, Oman and Dominican Republic.
What time will the lists be announced?
The date and time of the next update are still shrouded in mystery; some sources have indicated to The Independent that it is expected “by the end of the week”, while others have said it is likely to be revealed on the evening of Thursday 26 August. However, several times in the past the review has been announced on Wednesday afternoon or evening. It is extremely likely that the news will be released at some point during the next two days.
How can I find out the latest updates?
The Independent’s travel team will be live blogging all updates as soon as they’re revealed throughout the day. Check out our rolling news coverage here for all the latest additions to the traffic light lists.