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Spain, Greece and US holidays 'optimistically' boosted ahead of next 'green list' review


When Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced the Government’s “green list” for travel on Friday, a number of holiday favourites didn’t make the cut. Spain, Greece and the USA, all of who were predicted by some experts to be on the list, ended up being listed as “amber”.

This means travellers returning from the three destinations will be required to self-isolate at home for 10 days, as well as taking a Covid test on day two and day eight of their isolation.

Despite this, it seems Britons remain hopeful all three nations will be included upon the next review.

According to Travel Counsellors’ UK, Spain, Greece and the US are the “top-selling overseas destinations” for holidays this summer.

The Government is set to review its travel lists every three weeks, taking into account COVID-19 data around the world, so more nations could be listed as “green” in the future.

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Kirsten Hughes, Travel Counsellors’ UK Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer said: “The USA, Spain and Greece remain our top selling overseas destinations this summer, with sales already in the past week at the highest they have been so far this year.”

She added: “We are delighted that the Government has given some clarity on which countries will be red, amber and green when the ban on non-essential travel is lifted on May 17.

“While the number of green countries is still relatively small it is gratifying to see that Portugal, the Azores and Madeira are on the list.

“We are also cautiously optimistic that more popular destinations could be added to the green list as their vaccination programmes gather pace.”

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Speaking at an address to the nation on Friday, Mr Shapps said: “I regret that favourite summer destinations like France, Spain and Greece are not yet included but every three weeks from reopening we will be reviewing the countries to see how and where we can expand the green list. This is just a first step.”

Some experts are already calling for more nations to be added to the list in order to help the travel industry get back on its feet.

Paul Charles, CEO of The PC Agency travel consultancy, said: “This is a useful first step to restarting overseas travel from May 17 but there is so much more needed to boost consumer confidence and sales.

“There are so many more safe countries out there which could have been added to the green category.

“So the Government needs to update the traffic lights before the end of May and also remove the onerous testing requirements so that those returning from a green country don’t have extra costs to fork out.”

Though travel is set to resume on May 17, the Transport Secretary warned Britons “should not” be travelling to any destination which is not on the “green list”.

He said: “Amber countries form the biggest group.

“As with the red list, you should not be travelling to these places right now.

“Returnees will have to do tests on three separate occasions – once before departure, twice after arrival and isolate in a place of their choosing for 10 days.”

Travellers returning from green countries will be able to jet off from May 17 without quarantine, however, they must take a pre-departure test.

Red list countries remain tied to hotel quarantine.

This means only UK residents and citizens will be able to return to the UK from these countries. They will then be required to pay, in advance, for a Government approved hotel quarantine stay which will include COVID-19 testing throughout.


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