Hopes raised that Greek islands and Malta will be added to green list

·3-min read

Several Greek islands, Malta and parts of the Caribbean could be added to the green travel list on Thursday, according to an industry expert.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said a number of popular holiday destinations “really deserve” to be moved to the low-risk tier.

Holidaymakers returning to the UK from green locations are not required to self-isolate, and only need to take one post-arrival coronavirus test.

Mr Charles told the PA news agency he expects additions to the list to include the Greek islands of Zante, Rhodes and Kos, the Caribbean islands of Grenada and Antigua, plus Malta and Finland.

The transition of those locations to green status would be “a boost” to the struggling travel industry, he said.

“We need to see the Government widening the number of green destinations to help the sector recover and to help protect jobs and livelihoods, which the Prime Minister promised.

“It would be a boost to see those added. I still think we’re going to get the majority of European countries added at the end of June, but it would be an encouraging step forward.”

Assessments are based on a range of factors, including the proportion of a population that has been vaccinated, rates of infection, emerging new variants, and access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

Portugal is the only viable major tourist destination currently on the green list.

Mr Charles said he would be “surprised” if Spain’s Balearic Islands – including Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca – are added in Thursday’s update.

“They’re hugely popular and I’m not sure the Government is ready to encourage so much travel at the moment.”

He also warned that Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia could be added to the red list, which means people returning to the UK are required to spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel.

“There are clearly signs of increased infection in many parts of Asia at the moment and I think the Government will be keen to clamp down on those as soon as they can,” he said.

Travellers returning to the UK from an amber list location – which includes popular hotspots such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece – must quarantine at home for 10 days and take two post-arrival tests.

The Government has urged people against non-essential travel to amber countries.

Boris Johnson said the Government will “wait and see” what the recommendations of the Joint Biosecurity Centre are before announcing changes to the travel lists.

He went on: “We are going to try and allow people to travel as I know many people want to, but we’ve got to be cautious.

“We’ve got to continue to put countries on the red list, on the amber list, when that is necessary.

“We will have no hesitation in moving countries from the green list to the amber list to the red list if we have to do so.

“The priority is to continue the vaccine rollout to protect the people of this country.”

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