Green list confirmed: NO new countries added and Portugal moved to amber list in holiday blow for millions of Brits


BRITS saw their summer holiday hopes dashed tonight after ministers confirmed they’re adding NO new countries to the green travel list.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps made the shock announcement that he isn’t opening up any more destinations for quarantine-free trips.

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No new countries will be added to the green list today in a major blow to holiday hopes

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No new countries will be added to the green list today in a major blow to holiday hopesCredit: Alamy
Malta had been among the popular destinations hoping to make the cut

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Malta had been among the popular destinations hoping to make the cutCredit: Getty

Instead extra places have been included on the red list, meaning Brits will be officially banned from going there as of 4am on Tuesday.

And in a double whammy Portugal has been turned amber following an uptick in cases.

Ministers said the move was taken to protect the UK against a potentially dangerous new mutation of the Indian variant.

Mr Shapps said: “The public has always known travel will be different this year.

“We must continue to take a cautious approach to reopening international travel in a way that protects public health and the vaccine rollout.

“While we are making great progress in the UK with the vaccine rollout, we continue to say the public should not travel to destinations outside the green list.”

Seven countries – Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Trinidad & Tobago – are now on the red list.

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Health Security Agency chief Dr Jenny Harries said: “Increases in case rates in the UK serve as a reminder that this pandemic is not over yet and we need to take a cautious approach.

“Everyone should observe the travel guidance, continue to follow hands, face, space and fresh air, and have both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when offered.

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“Testing will help to break chains of transmission and allow us to see which variants are circulating so make sure you get tested when you return to the UK in line with the guidance.”

The move will spark chaos for holiday plans means there are now no major destinations on the green list.

It comes as a huge blow to desperate sun seekers and the battered travel industry.

There had been hopes favourite holiday hotspots including Malta and many Greek islands could be opened up for holidays.

Finland and Poland were also thought to be in line for the green list due to their low Covid rates.

The announcement came after Boris Johnson warned he’d have “no hesitation” over yanking countries off the green list if necessary.

And in a blow to hols hopes the EU has left Britain off its new safe travel list due to fears over the spread of the Indian variant.

The news will come as a huge blow to the struggling travel industry

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The news will come as a huge blow to the struggling travel industryCredit: Getty
There are now fears Portugal could be booted off the green list

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There are now fears Portugal could be booted off the green listCredit: Getty

The PM said: “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.

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

Home office minister Victoria Atkins urged Brits to show “common sense” when travelling this summer.

She said: “We have to look at the data, at what is happening elsewhere in the world, to help advise the public as to what is allowed and not allowed.

“But as with anything, we’re asking the public to exercise their common sense and that is the way that we’re going to be able to return to normality.”

Ahead of the announcement holiday hotspot Cyprus had expressed hopes it would be added to the green list.

The island’s tourism minister Savvas Perdios said: “Cyprus absolutely deserves to be green-listed.

“We are one of the few countries in Europe that has been so open to the UK in terms of travelling.”

Travel expert Paul Charles insisted other popular destinations also “really deserve” to make the cut.

They include the Greek islands of Zante, Rhodes and Kos, the Caribbean islands of Grenada and Antigua, plus Malta and Finland.

He fumed: “This is a decision which will threaten tens of thousands of jobs in the aviation and travel sectors, not to mention further damage consumer confidence.

“The data shows several countries should be green so the Government’s decision beggars belief. Summer is being squeezed by a policy of fear.”

People returning to the UK from green locations are not required to self-isolate, and only need to take one test after getting home.

Most countries, including popular hotspots such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece are on the amber list.

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Everyone coming back from those areas must quarantine at home for 10 days and take two post-arrival tests.

Countries are graded on criteria including infection rates, reliability of data, and the presence of variants of concern.

Ability to identify new strains of the virus and the extent of vaccine rollout is also taken into account.

The announcement comes amid concerns the spread of the Indian variant could force the PM to push back the June 21 end of lockdown.

Boris yesterday insisted there’s “nothing in the data” yet to suggests the great reopening up will need to be paused.

But there are reports ministers are drawing up contingency plans for a two-week delay if the rate of new infections passes 5,000 a day.

A Whitehall source told the FT: “No one wants this to go on longer than necessary.

“But there’s a sense that everyone could live with an extra two weeks if it keeps the new strain under control.”

No 10 still holds out hope that the lightning rollout of the vaccine, which is effective against the Indian variant, will keep the roadmap on track.

A whopping 75% of adults across the UK have now had their first coronavirus jab, and half have received both doses.

Dr Hilary Jones explains why the govt’s Covid travel Green List can change so rapidly as Richard Madeley questions the point of it





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