Overseas travel: No countries added to England's green list

Two women on a beach at Ghadira Bay, Malta

image copyrightReuters

No further countries are being added to England’s green list for foreign travel, as ministers prepare to update travellers on destinations.

The full list is expected to be announced later on Thursday.

It is possible some countries will be removed from the green list and the BBC understands Portugal is likely to be one of them.

There is also a strong expectation that there will be additions to the red list.

On England’s traffic light list, countries are classed as green, amber or red – with different rules for quarantine and Covid tests.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have similar rules.

The government says you should not holiday in red or amber destinations – which means most countries.

Holidays to countries on the green list can go ahead without quarantining when you return.

There had been some speculation that Greek and Spanish islands could be added to the green list as well as Malta, Finland and parts of the Caribbean – but the government insisted it had to remain cautious.

However, BBC political correspondent Nick Eardley understands that Portugal is likely to be relegated from the green list to amber from Tuesday.

He said this followed a meeting on Thursday morning between the UK and devolved governments and advice from the joint bio-security centre.

‘Safe and ready’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC: “We’ve got to protect the progress that we’ve made here at home whilst of course allowing for travel when it’s safe to do so. We’ve got to follow the data.”

The tourism minister for the Caribbean island of Grenada, Clarice Modeste Curwen, said she was “extremely disappointed” it was not added to the green list.

She added: “Grenada has had just 161 cases of Covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic and we have reported zero new cases locally since February.

“We strongly believe that Grenada should be added to the UK’s green list as we have taken all the necessary measures to ensure the islands are safe and ready for visitors.”