On Friday, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed the new traffic light system that categorises countries based on COVID-19 risk levels. Under this system, countries all over the world have been divided into three colour categories, namely, 'green list,' 'amber list', and 'red list.' According to the new system, each of these countries has different travel restrictions that people would have to adhere to while travelling.
Countries of amber and red list require quarantine on return with PCR tests, but for countries on the green list, only a PCR test would suffice. There are twelve countries under the 'green list'–where UK citizens can travel without quarantining themselves on their return. Apart from the UK imposing restrictions, the countries on the green list have their own regulations that need to be adhered to.
Which countries are on the green list?
As per Shapps, the country lists will be reviewed every three weeks and changes would take place considering the cases per country. This implies the status of green list countries could be changed when the list is reviewed, so nothing is permanent. Shapps stated these changes were 'tentative' and the 'first step' to opening up travel as there is a 'concern about the resurgence of COVID.'
The green list includes the following countries:
- New Zealand
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island
Countries like Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and Faroe Islands have entry restrictions by their government. Popular holiday spots including–Spain, France and Greece are not yet put on the green list owing to increased COVID-19 cases.
What’s the catch?
Even though the government has allowed travel to these destinations, it might not be possible for everyone to make their dream trip. Flight prices and holiday bookings have experienced a steep rise since before the announcement of the green list was even made. Limited flights are operating between these destinations that may change by the end of the month. As per the UK travel industry, there’s a gold rush ahead for the holidays and the prices would only further increase due to the demand.