Most of Europe’s tourism big hitters failed to go green in the government’s latest update of its traffic light system for international travel.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced a review of its green, amber and red lists, with changes due to come into effect at 4am on Sunday 8 August in England.
Portugal, once the only mainstream holiday destination to achieve green status, also remains stuck on amber, necessitating 10 days of quarantine and two PCR tests for all unvaccinated adults returning to the UK.
However, a further seven countries have been upgraded to green in the review, announced on 4 August, meaning arrivals into England can swerve self-isolation even if they’re not double-jabbed: Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway.
The green and green watchlist is now comprised of 36 places in total.
On the other end of the spectrum, Georgia, Mexico, La Reunion and Mayotte have plunged from amber to red to safeguard the domestic vaccine rollout.
The list of 60 red list countries come with the harshest restrictions, with returning travellers forced to prebook 11 nights in a government-mandated quarantine hotel. The price includes an airport transfer, all meals and two PCR tests to be taken on day two and day eight.
It previously cost £1,750 per solo traveller, but the price will shoot up to £2,285 for a single adult and £1,430 for a second adult from 12 August.
Currently, only those with British residency are allowed into the UK from red list countries.
At present, fully vaccinated travellers from the UK, US and EU, as well as under 18s, can skip quarantine when arriving from amber-listed countries, although they are still required to take a day two PCR test in addition to a lateral flow test before departing for the UK.
Grant Shapps, the secretary for transport, said in the update: “We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we’ve made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.
“While we must continue to be cautious, today’s changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public.”