THE UK is considering using a traffic light system to allow holidays to go ahead this summer, depending on the risk they pose regarding Covid cases and new variants.
"Green" countries would be able to open up to British holidaymakers while "red" countries would remain on the UK's ban list.
The three-tiered system could see passengers flying to certain countries exempt from pre-departure tests and a mandatory quarantine when they return if on the "green" list.
"Amber" countries may not be on the travel ban list but may require some travel restrictions such as Covid tests or quarantines.
However those looking to get away to higher risk “red” destinations could face tough restrictions such as extra Covid-19 tests and an isolation period or even a full ban on non-essential travel.
There are 35 countries currently on the UK's "red list" which includes the UAE, South America and South African nations.
Portugal was removed from the list earlier this month but there are fears that France could be added.
Here are which countries could be on the green list – and which are to stay on the red list.
Countries which could be on the green list
While the vaccine rollout still needs to improve, with less than 10 per cent having the first jab, cases have fallen across the country.
After months on the UK's red list, it was recently removed – great news for holidaymakers.
The country will also welcome vaccinated Brits, with the island of Madeira offering all arrivals restriction-free travel even if they haven't had the jab.
Malta has one of the best vaccine rollouts in the EU behind the UK with nearly 25 per cent given the first jab.
The island has also kept cases low in recent days, with less than 200 new infections per day.
With Malta also not a common flight connection route, which keeps imported infection rates low, this means the island may be able to open to the UK with few restrictions.
One of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits throughout the lockdown, the islands have kept cases low due to them being naturally socially distanced.
The country is also likely to be one of the first to be entirely vaccinated – as of March 8, more than 157,000 of the island country’s 531,000 population have received the jab.
Israel is the leading country for the vaccine rollout, with more than 60 per cent of the population given the first jab – compared to the UK's 41 per cent.
While not a popular holiday destination for Brits, it means it is likely to be the safest option, with destinations such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem ready for tourists.
With flights from just £57, and direct routes with EasyJet, the destination could be one of the few beach and city breaks open to Brits this summer.
Countries which could be on the amber list
While Spain is the most popular holiday destination for Bris, the country will need to reduce new Covid cases and increase their vaccine rollout.
The country has plans to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population by the summer which could open travel across the mainland and the islands.
However, the UK is likely to open the borders but still require travel restrictions to the country.
Another country wanting to welcome Brits with a vaccine passport, it is likely that the destination will be able to welcome UK arrivals this summer.
However, Greece has also failed to increase their vaccine rollout with it lagging behind at 10 per cent.
Cases are also starting to rise again – if they can remain low then the country could be open to Brits, albeit with travel restictions.
Also popular with British holidaymakers, the country was removed from the UK's safe list last year after it was revealed that Turkey was not accurately reporting their Covid cases.
The vaccine rollout is currently less than 10 per cent so will need to ramp up to increase the chances of holidays continuing.
However, it is one of the few countries which will welcome Brits without a vaccine passport, which could help travelling go ahead.
Countries which could be on the red list
Here is the full list of countries already on the red list.
- Cape Verde
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- French Guiana
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
It was also feared that all countries in Europe could be added to the red list, although Matt Hancock said this wasn't something they were considering.
The government is considering adding France to the UK's travel ban list as cases rise in the country.
There are also fears that it could result in the transmission of the South African variant to the UK, which threatens the vaccine rollout.
Here is everything you need to know about your foreign holiday going ahead this year.
New travel rules will enforce a £5,000 fine for anyone trying to leave the country to go on holiday from Monday.
Brits already have to also fill out a form if they do want to leave the country, stating their permitted reason to do so, or they will face a £200 fine for not having the right paperwork.
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