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UK minister lists ‘green’ countries approved for English tourists in major Covid rule easing

UK minister lists ‘green’ countries approved for English tourists in major Covid rule easing
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced a “green list” of a dozen countries holidaymakers from England can visit from May 17 without having to enter Covid-19 quarantine on their return home.

A new ‘traffic light’ system announced on Friday will mean that travelling abroad for leisure purposes will no longer be illegal from 4am on May 17.

For people visiting “green list” countries, Covid-19 tests must be taken before and after travelling back to England, however, they will not have to complete the current 10-day quarantine period on return unless their test result is positive.

The 12 countries are: Australia, Brunei, the Falkland Islands, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel and Jerusalem, New Zealand, Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira), Singapore, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, and St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

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“As summer progresses, we hope more traditional tourist destinations will be unlocked, but we have to turn the key slowly,” Shapps told a government coronavirus briefing, where he outlined the plans. 

He also announced that the government has had to update its “red list” of destinations to include the Maldives, Nepal and Turkey, due to local Covid-19 infection rates. This means that from 4am on May 12, visitors returning to England from those countries – which are currently on the “amber list” – must complete a 10-day managed hotel quarantine.

Visitors to “amber list” countries, which currently include Britons’ traditional holiday hotspots like France and Greece, have to quarantine at home according to a strict testing regime on their return.

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