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A clutch of top holiday destinations could be removed from the red list in the latest traffic light update expected later this week.
Covid data analyst, Tim White, has predicted that 12 countries popular with British travellers could be promoted to the amber list, removing the mandatory hotel quarantine requirement. Among them are Turkey and the key winter sun destinations of South Africa and the Maldives. All three countries are currently reporting Covid rates significantly lower than the UK’s and are accepting British travellers.
Mr White highlighted to The Independent that Argentina, Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru and Sri Lanka also qualify to be relieved of their red list status.
The predictions follow other reports that the red list is expected to be significantly shrunk, with a new definition adopted for when countries are put on it, based on dangerous Covid variants.
Currently there are 62 countries on the list. But a much shorter list – possibly based on prevalence of the beta variant first found in South Africa – is likely to be issued instead. Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, has said as many as 24 red list countries could fall off the list if the beta variant became a key factor in decision-making.
Scroll down for more of the latest.
Turkey ‘expects’ to be removed from red list
Turkey is expecting to be promoted to the amber list in the next travel update, due tomorrow or Thursday.
The embassy told Sky News: “The Covid-19 related data of Turkey, which are the criteria for the UK’s traffic lights system, are, if compared scientifically and objectively, better than quite a number of countries that are already in the amber list. “Therefore, we expect Turkey to come off the red list.”
The country made a similar prediction shortly before the last traffic light update but missed out on promotion that time.
Bali to reopen – with strict rules for international travellers
Indonesia has eased its Covid-19 restrictions on the popular tourist island of Bali, but international travellers will face strict protocols on arrival.
Tourist spots in most parts of the island will now accept visitors, maritime and investment minister Luhut Panjaitan told a virtual conference, as long as they adhere to strict protocols, such as proving their vaccination status on a government-verified phone app.
International visitors, however, must undergo an eight-day quarantine and take three PCR tests before they enter the island.
Overseas summer holiday bookings down 83 per cent in 2021
Travel body Abta has reported that summer holiday bookings for 2021 were down 83 per cent when compared to 2019 levels.
The dramatic slump can be attributed to the restrictive traffic light system, which meant most countries were off limits until mid-July unless travellers submitted to quarantine on their return. Demand will have also been dampened by shifting entry rules in other countries and the cost of required PCR testing.
PM prepares to reveal Covid winter plan
The Prime Minister is expected to tell the nation today how the country can learn to live with coronavirus, underlining how vaccinations will be a central part of the response in the coming months.
- The travel traffic lights system is expected to be scrapped and PCR tests will no longer be required for fully vaccinated travellers.
- Number 10 said another lockdown over winter would only be considered as a “last resort”.
- Covid laws that are no longer required will be ditched and plans for vaccine passports for nightclubs and other large-crowd venues have been shelved.
The Downing Street news conference is expected to take place this afternoon: Boris Johnson will be joined by chief medical adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.
UK travel rules ‘choked off’ summer holidays, says Abta
Travel trade body Abta has intensified calls for the Government to ease travel restrictions, stating that the strict requirements “choked off” summer holidays.
Abta chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said:
“The Government’s travel requirements have choked off this summer’s travel trade – putting jobs, businesses and the UK’s connectivity at risk.
“While our European neighbours have been travelling freely and safely, the British were subject to expensive measures which have stood in the way of people visiting family and friends, taking that much-needed foreign holiday and making important business connections.
“The Government needs to wake up to the damage its policies are doing to the UK travel industry and the impact they will have on the wider economic recovery.”
The red list countries that could move to amber in this week’s travel review
Thoughts are turning to the next traffic light update which is expected later this week.
Here we take a closer look a the most popular destinations on the red list, crunch the numbers and assess which could lose their hotel quarantine status in the next update.
Pre-departure tests for double-jabbed travellers could be axed
Pre-departure tests for double-jabbed Britons returning to the UK face the axe under plans being considered by ministers to ease restrictions on foreign travel for holidaymakers, reports Charles Hymas.
Ministers will meet this week to determine whether the tests, required to be taken 72 hours before flying back to the UK, should be ditched for fully vaccinated travellers returning from “low risk” countries.
The tests, which are generally cheaper lateral flows costing £30 per person, would, however, be retained for any travellers from “high risk” red list countries, and for any arrivals into the UK who are not vaccinated.
The option comes on top of a government intention, set out by Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, at the weekend to ditch the more expensive PCR tests for double-jabbed travellers once they are back in the UK, and replace them with the cheaper lateral flow tests.
What happened yesterday?
A recap of Monday’s top stories.
- Red list quarantine is ‘breach of human rights’, says law firm
- PCR tests for double-vaccinated travellers ‘to be dropped’
- Fines of up to £10,000 for Covid travel test ‘cowboys’
- Holiday prices will be ‘dramatically higher’, says Ryanair boss
- Heathrow loses top spot in Europe
Now, on with today’s latest travel news.