From May 17, the UK is set to ease its border restrictions and allow in travellers from select ‘green list’ destinations to enter, without requiring any form of quarantine. On Friday, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed the long awaited “green list” of nations that residents of England will soon be allowed to visit.
During Britain’s second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, travel had been tightly restricted. As the infection rates are plummeting, the country is preparing to move on to the next stage of its reopening plan. From May 17, the total ban on foreign holidays will be lifted, meaning UK residents can leave the country for the first time in months. There will also be new rules on which travellers will be allowed into the UK – whether they’re visitors from abroad or British residents returning from a holiday.
Twelve countries will be on England’s “green list.” Travelers to these countries will need to take a COVID-19 test pre-departure and another on their return. However, they will not have to quarantine on their return.
The 12 countries are:
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
St. Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island
Bear in mind that not all the countries on the ‘green list’ are allowing visitors from the UK. British travellers will need to check other countries’ travel restrictions before planning a visit.
Countries that are not in the green list have been placed in either an “amber” or a “red” list — with the latter requiring the most stringent of measures.
Popular destinations for UK residents, like France and Spain, have not been placed on the green list at this stage. In a press conference held on Friday, Shapps said that green list countries can have their status withdrawn at any time.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will reveal their own travel restrictions for their residents separately.
U.S. and European airlines and a host of travel industry companies, struggling from a slump in international travel, this week urged their governments to loosen travel rules that currently bar most Britons from entering, citing an increase in vaccination rates in their respective countries.
“We continue to encourage the U.S. to implement a reciprocal policy that allows travellers who are fully vaccinated to travel to the U.S. from nations with similarly successful vaccination programs,” said Airlines for America, a trade group that represents most large U.S. airlines, including American, Delta and United.
Although airline executives have cast doubt on the reopening of most U.S.-Europe travel this summer with restrictions still in place they are more upbeat about the possibility of U.K.-U.S. travel reopening.
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