Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced measures to “continue cautiously reopening” international travel in a safe and sustainable way, with plans to remove the quarantine period for travellers coming from amber list countries who are fully vaccinated, with full details to be set out next month.
From 4am Wednesday 30 June, Malta, Madeira, the Balearic Islands, several UK overseas territories and Caribbean islands (including Barbados) will be added to the government’s green list, having met the necessary criteria to be reclassified.
All additions to the green list apart from Malta will also join the ‘green watchlist’, as will Israel and Jerusalem – signalling that these countries are at risk of moving from green to amber.
The announcement followed the Global Travel Taskforce’s checkpoint review and the rules are hoped to change later in the summer.
This is expected to occur in phases, starting with UK residents, who will still be required to take a pre-departure test and a test on day two, and any positive results will be sequenced to continue to manage the risk of importing variants.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, we’re now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from amber countries – showing a real sign of progress.
“It’s right that we continue with this cautious approach, to protect public health and the vaccine roll-out as our top priority, while ensuring that our route out of the international travel restrictions is sustainable.”
Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President WTTC, said: “Adding more destinations to the green list, including the popular Balearic Islands, is positive news and will come as a welcome boost to both holidaymakers and the struggling Travel & Tourism sector.
“However, all but Malta have been placed on the so-called ‘green watchlist’, which will cause further confusion for holidaymakers and dampen demand.
“We are also disappointed that a date hasn’t been set for quarantine-free travel for double-jabbed Brits returning from amber list holiday hotspots, which would allow the industry time to prepare and travellers time to plan. Why are we still waiting and not taking advantage of the UK’s highly-successful vaccine rollout?”