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Holidays green list: Government announces new ‘traffic light’ system for travelling abroad

Could this mean holidays abroad are back on?

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The holidays green list list has been updated by the government today (May 7), paving the way for holidays abroad.

Brits have been in lockdown since Christmas, which has meant that foreign travel has been a big no-no.

However, as COVID restrictions begin to ease, so too has travel to certain countries.

Grant Shapps announces new traffic light system of travelling abroad
Grant Shapps announced the new measures today (Credit: SplashNews.com)

So what are the destinations on the holidays green list?

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced a new traffic light system, which sees countries split into three categories.

Each category – green, amber and red – is dependent on four different COVID risk factors.

Read more: Corrie actress Tracie Bennett ‘watched friends die from Covid on FaceTime’

Into which category a country falls has been decided on how high a percentage of a country has been vaccinated, its rate of infection, concern over variants and access to data and genomic sequencing.

Mr Schapps said: “We’re a group of people who thrive on travel.

“In 2019, UK residents took over 93 million trips abroad so I’m glad to be standing here today to announce the first tentative steps to unlock travel.

“We want to start looking outward again,” he added.

However, he warned: “Our success in combatting COVID here is not yet replicated in many places abroad.

“The disease is still prevalent in many parts of the world and nobody wants to go back into lockdown ever.”

New UK travel rules
Holidays are back on for Brits (Credit: Pexels)

So which countries can you travel to?

Mr Schapps revealed that the May 17 unlocking was a cautious one.

Travel to countries where COVID rates are low and vaccination rates are high will soon be allowed.

As of mid-May, Brits can travel to green countries without quarantine.

These countries are limited to 12 countries and territories.

These include Portugal, Gibraltar and Israel.

Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Iceland and Brunei are also on the list.

The Faroe Islands and the Falklands Islands are also green.

South Georgia and the South Sandwich islands and Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha complete the list.

Popular destinations including France, Spain and Greece are not on the green list but it will be reviewed every three weeks.

Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal have been added to the red list.

New UK travel rules
As a result of travel abroad opening up, Brits will need to take PCR tests (Credit: Pexels)

So what do the categories mean?

If a country is in the green category, travellers will need to take pre-departure test as well as a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back into the UK.

However, they will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests.

If a country is in the amber category, travellers will need to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival back in the UK.

Read more: COVID travel test: Tests to be made compulsory ‘for some’ for entry into the UK

They will also be required to take a PCR test on day two and day eight of quarantine.

If travellers visit a country in the red category, they will required to undertake a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and mandatory PCR testing on day two and eight.

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