Only 12 countries, including Portugal, Gibraltar and Israel, have been included on the ’green list’ of destinations that will not require quarantine on return to England.
The full list of green countries is: Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira, Australia; New Zealand; Singapore; Brunei: Iceland; Faroe Islands; Gibraltar; Falkland Islands; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; and Israel and Jerusalem.
The destinations were revealed in a press conference hosted by transport secretary Grant Shapps, who also revealed that key destinations such as France, Spain and Greece would not be on the green list when international travel resumes from 17 May.
Meanwhile Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal have been placed on the red list by the UK government from 04.00 on Wednesday 12 May.
Countries are categorised based on their Covid-19 risk, including levels of Covid infections, the successful rollouts of vaccination programmes and whether there are any new coronavirus variants in circulation in the destination. The list will be reviewed every three weeks by the Department for Transport.
The measures only govern the rules for returning to the UK; individual countries may have their own additional Covid border controls, testing requirements and other measures that travellers will need to comply with to enter these destinations.
Most countries on the green list do not currently allow tourists to visit under their own restrictions.
“Today marks the first step in our cautious return to international travel, with measures designed above all else to protect public health and ensure we don’t throw away the hard-fought gains we’ve all strived to earn this year,” said Shapps.
“This is a new way of doing things, and people should expect travel to be different this summer – with longer checks at the borders, as part of tough measures to prevent new strains of the virus entering the country and putting our fantastic vaccine rollout at risk.”