Politics

Covid travel green list changes confirmed as Portugal removed – in full


British holidaymakers have been dealt a blow after no new countries were added to the green list from next week.

Travel from the UK to 11 countries and territories will be allowed without quarantine on return to Britain, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

But that was already the case – and many of them still force Brits to isolate at their end.

Meanwhile, the Transport Secretary tightened the rules on countries with high infection rates, moving seven destinations, including Sri Lanka and Egypt from the amber to red lists.

And in a blow to thousands of Brits already in the country, Portugal will be removed from the green list and turned amber just three weeks after opening its doors. Madeira and the Azores are also moving to amber.

Holidaymakers in Portugal now face a scramble for flights home before the new rules come into force at 4am on Tuesday.

The move – as fears mount over the spread of new variants – means Brits who return after the cut-off date must isolate for up to 10 days at home.

Scroll down to read the new lists in full.

In a day of chaos, announcements were dripped out of Government without official confirmation, causing confusion to holidaymakers and the travel industry.

Mr Shapps made it clear that the decision to tighten rules was linked to spread of new variants.

He said: “I want to be straight with people, it’s actually a difficult decision to make, but in the end we’ve seen two things really which caused concern.

“One is the positivity rate has nearly doubled since the last review in Portugal and the other is there’s a sort of Nepal mutation of the so-called Indian variant which has been detected and we just don’t know the potential for that to be vaccine-defeating mutation and simply don’t want to take the risk as we come up to June 21 and the review of the fourth stage of the unlock.”

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The announcement came after hopes that the most popular Spanish and Greek islands could be added to the green list were dashed.

It had also been hoped countries like Malta, Finland and Slovakia could be added to the green list. But Boris Johnson had warned yesterday that he could tighten restrictions on some countries while loosening them on others.

The Prime Minister said: “We will have no hesitation in moving countries from the green list to the amber list, to the red list, if we have to do so.”

Today’s announcement was the first three-weekly update to the green list since foreign leisure travel was made legal on May 17.

The updates will come into force at 4am on Tuesday, June 8, with the next set of changes around June 28.

Just 12 countries and territories were on the first version of the green list – many of which, like Australia, would not let Brits in anyway.

Brits returning from green, amber and red list nations must all fill out a locator form and take at least two Covid tests.



Brits returning from green list countries don't have to quarantine when they get home
Brits returning from green list countries don’t have to quarantine when they get home

But crucially, people who arrive from green list countries do not need to quarantine when they return to the UK.

By comparison, arrivals from amber countries must self-isolate at home for up to 10 days, while red list arrivals face a mandatory £1,750 hotel stay.

The green ‘watchlist’ shows countries that are still rated green, but are at risk of turning amber in the near future.

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Ministers were looking at separating out the biggest island hotspots from their host territories – allowing travel to them.

But the decision was shrouded in mystery until the last minute as it depended on advice from the UK’s Joint Biosecurity Centre.



Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the changes
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the changes

Green list status is decided by a complex combination of factors, which include:

  • Variants in the country – including how widespread and transmissible they are, and any evidence they evade a vaccine.
  • Testing and weekly case rates per 100,000 people, and the % of tests that come back positive.
  • If the country is safe, but has strong travel links with other countries that have a big risk from variants.
  • How good that country is at genomic sequencing – in other words, spotting new variants.
  • How good the overall data in the country is – in other words, if low case rates can be trusted.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said the move was a “terrible decision”.

He said: “They are basically putting at risk tens of thousands of jobs across aviation and the travel sector, and not showing any signs of helping the sector to recover.

“They seem to want to continue to create an atmosphere of fear among travellers, which is totally at odds with other countries.

“There are several countries which meet the criteria to be on the green list so this is clearly a politically charged decision rather than one based on data.”

Here is the new traffic light list in full.

Green countries

Australia

Brunei

Falkland Islands

Faroe Islands

Gibraltar

Iceland

Israel and Jerusalem

New Zealand

Singapore

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Amber countries

Akrotiri and Dhekelia

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Albania

Algeria

Andorra

Anguilla

Antigua and Barbuda

Armenia

Aruba

Austria

Azerbaijan

The Bahamas

Barbados

Belarus

Belgium

Belize

Benin

Bermuda

Bhutan

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba

Bosnia and Herzegovina

British Antarctic Territory

British Indian Ocean Territory

British Virgin Islands

Bulgaria

Burkina Faso

Cambodia

Cameroon

Canada

Cayman Islands

Central African Republic

Chad

China

Comoros

Congo

Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue

Côte d’Ivoire

Croatia

Cuba

Curaçao

Cyprus

Czech Republic (Czechia)

Denmark

Djibouti

Dominica

Dominican Republic

El Salvador

Equatorial Guinea

Eritrea

Estonia

Fiji

Finland

France

French Polynesia

Gabon

The Gambia

Georgia

Germany

Ghana

Greece (including islands)

Greenland

Grenada

Guadeloupe

Guatemala

Guinea

Guinea-Bissau

Haiti

Honduras

Hong Kong

Hungary

Indonesia

Iran

Iraq

Italy

Jamaica

Japan

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kiribati

Kosovo

Kuwait

Kyrgyzstan

Laos

Latvia

Lebanon

Liberia

Libya

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macao

Madagascar

Malaysia

Mali

Malta

Marshall Islands

Martinique

Mauritania

Mauritius

Mayotte

Mexico

Micronesia

Moldova

Monaco

Mongolia

Montenegro

Montserrat

Morocco

Myanmar (Burma)

Nauru

Netherlands

New Caledonia

Nicaragua

Niger

Nigeria

North Korea

North Macedonia

Norway

The Occupied Palestinian Territories

Palau

Papua New Guinea

Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands

Poland

Réunion

Romania

Russia

Samoa

San Marino

Sao Tome and Principe

Saudi Arabia

Senegal

Serbia

Sierra Leone

Slovakia

Slovenia

Solomon Islands

South Korea

South Sudan

Spain (including the Balearics and Canary Islands)

St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Maarten

St Martin and St Barthélemy

St Pierre and Miquelon

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Sweden

Switzerland

Syria

Taiwan

Tajikistan

Thailand

Timor-Leste

Togo

Tonga

Tunisia

Turkmenistan

Turks and Caicos Islands

Tuvalu

Uganda

Ukraine

United States (USA)

Uzbekistan

Vanuatu

Vietnam

Wallis and Futuna

Western Sahara

Yemen

Red countries

Afghanistan

Angola

Argentina

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Bolivia

Botswana

Brazil

Burundi

Cape Verde

Chile

Colombia

Congo (Democratic Republic)

Costa Rica

Ecuador

Egypt

Eswatini

Ethiopia

French Guiana

Guyana

India

Kenya

Lesotho

Malawi

Maldives

Mozambique

Namibia

Nepal

Oman

Pakistan

Panama

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

Qatar

Rwanda

Seychelles

Somalia

South Africa

Sri Lanka

Sudan

Suriname

Tanzania

Trinidad & Tobago

Turkey

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Uruguay

Venezuela

Zambia

Zimbabwe





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