Thinking about a foreign holiday? Here’s what you need to know
People in England and Wales are now able to travel overseas on holiday to a limited number of destinations.
There are green, amber and red lists for international travel.
Here the PA news agency answers 11 key questions on what this means for holidaymakers:
– Why are the lists important?
They determine the quarantine and coronavirus testing requirements people will face when returning home from Monday May 17, when the ban on overseas leisure travel was lifted.
– Why is everyone talking about the green list?
Travellers returning from a country on that list will not need to quarantine, and will only be required to take one post-arrival coronavirus test.
– Sounds good. What locations are on it?
It consists of Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, plus several small remote islands which are British Overseas Territories.
– So I can go on holiday to anywhere on that list?
Not quite. Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and the Faroe Islands have severely restricted entry criteria.
Portugal plans to welcome UK tourists who have had a recent negative test, have recovered from the virus and therefore have antibodies, or had both doses of a vaccine.
Gibraltar will not require UK visitors to be tested or vaccinated, whereas Israel will initially reopen its border on May 23 only to groups of foreign tourists who have had both jabs.
None of these destinations will require arrivals to quarantine.
– What about the amber list?
That covers the most popular holiday destinations such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said “you should not be travelling to these places right now”.
On Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Times Radio people should not travel to places on the amber or red lists “unless it’s absolutely necessary, and certainly not for holiday purposes”.
– What if I go against that guidance?
People returning from amber countries must take two post-arrival tests.
They are also required to self-isolate at home for 10 days, although they can reduce that time if they take an additional negative test on day five.
– How about the red list?
Those returning from a red list country must stay in a quarantine hotel for 11 nights at a cost of £1,750.
– Will the lists change?
The lists will be amended every three weeks, but Boris Johnson said on Friday he did not expect new countries to be added to the green tier “very rapidly”.
– How does the Government decide which countries are on each list?
There are four key tests that the Government will take into account when deciding how to categorise a country within the traffic light system.
These include the percentage of the country’s population to have been vaccinated, the rate of infection, the prevalence of variants of concern and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
– What about vaccine passports?
Mr Shapps confirmed that people in England will be able to demonstrate they have had both doses of a vaccine through the NHS app.
The Welsh Government said vaccination status certificates will be available from Monday May 24 for people in Wales who have had both doses and need to urgently travel to a country that requires proof of having been vaccinated.
– Can people living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland go on a foreign holiday?
Scotland’s travel rules are aligned with those in England, with the same traffic light system in place from Monday, but officials have urged people to be cautious.
Non-essential travel from Northern Ireland to the Common Travel Area, which consists of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, will be allowed from the same date.
While Wales will allow international travel from Monday aligned with England’s traffic light system, the Welsh Government’s concerns about reimporting the virus mean it is advising people not to travel abroad during 2021.
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