What will the Government’s decision on travel lists mean for holidaymakers?
Here the PA news agency answers 10 key questions on the situation:
– What are the travel lists?
The Government has created a risk-based traffic light system with red, amber and green ratings for countries around the world. The ratings determine the quarantine and coronavirus testing requirements people face when returning to the UK.
– What are the rules?
People returning from green destinations do not need to quarantine, but those arriving from amber locations must self-isolate at home for 10 days.
Arrivals from a red tier country must enter a quarantine hotel.
– Do the rules cover people in England, Britain or the whole of the UK?
The Government’s lists and rules only apply in England, but have been largely mirrored by devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
– What changed on Thursday?
Portugal was the only viable major tourist destination on the green list, but it has been put on the amber list.
Most popular holiday locations were already in the amber tier, such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece.
Seven other countries – Sri Lanka, Egypt, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Sudan, and Trinidad and Tobago – have been added to the red list.
The Government said that in new red list countries Covid prevalence was assessed to be high and there was evidence to suggest community transmission of variants of concern.
– Is anywhere being added to the green list?
There was speculation that some Spanish and Greek islands, plus Malta, would be added, but the Government has decided that will not happen.
– Will the changes be enforced immediately?
The new changes come into effect at 4am on Tuesday, giving holidaymakers in Portugal a chance to return home and avoid quarantine requirements.
– Can I visit an amber country as long as I quarantine at home when I get back?
Although there is no law prohibiting people from travelling to an amber list country for a holiday, the Government is urging people not to do so.
– Can I book a trip to amber locations?
Although online travel firm On the Beach has stopped selling summer holidays due to a lack of “certainty or clarity”, many companies are selling and operating trips to amber countries.
– If I cancel my trip because the destination is on the amber list, will I get a refund?
Most travel companies are refusing refunds in those circumstances, although some firms, including Exodus, Kuoni and easyJet Holidays, have been praised by consumer group Which? for their flexible policies.
– Ok, so those are the rules for when I get home. But will destinations let me in?
That depends on where you want to go. Some green list countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, are closed to international tourists.
But many popular hotspots are open. Portugal requires visitors to show evidence of a recent negative test, whereas Spain has lifted all restrictions on UK tourists.