British families will receive the green light for the summer holidays before the end of May


Britain’s families will be allowed summer holidays in popular European hotspots by the end of May, and an update of the green list is expected every three weeks.

  • The first ‘green list’ countries are expected to be announced this week
  • Sources say the list has a handful of destinations that are updated every three weeks
  • Those returning from green countries do not need to be quarantined

Families will be given the green light to have summer vacations in a number of popular European hotspots before the end of the month, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The government is expected to announce as early as this week the first countries that Britons can visit without going into quarantine – but the list is believed to include only a handful of destinations.

Sources say the so-called ‘green list’ will be updated every three weeks, raising the chance that new countries – including popular destinations in Europe – will be announced before the end of this month. For much of the country, the hiatus will begin on May 31.

According to the traffic light system for travel abroad, those returning from green countries will not have to go into quarantine, but will have to pass two Covid tests – one before returning to the UK, which can be a side-flow or PCR test , and a PCR test on the second day after they return.

Families will get the green light before the end of the month to spend summer holidays in a number of popular European hotspots, The Mail on Sunday can reveal (photo Gibraltar)

Families will get the green light before the end of the month to spend summer holidays in a number of popular European hotspots, The Mail on Sunday can reveal (photo Gibraltar)

Those returning from countries designated as amber or red will still need to be quarantined at home or at a hotel and have three mandatory tests. Government officials are debating whether to adhere to previous policy plans to exempt all children under the age of 11 from taking the tests.

Most European countries will get orange status this week, but there is optimism that some countries will turn green the next time the list is updated.

The ban on foreign holidays will end on May 17, along with the threat of fines for attempting to travel without a legitimate reason.

Ahead of the cautious return to international travel, the government will soon unveil a new slogan ‘Travel Safely, Plan Ahead’. It replaces the current guideline ‘Minimize travel’.

An announcement from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps about which countries have been given what color is reportedly colored for Friday, though it could slip to early next week. Moving forward, the Joint Biosecurity Center (JBC), which provides evidence-based analysis to the government, will review the latest data from around the world.

The system is based on four main criteria: the percentage of the population vaccinated, the Covid infection rate, any emerging coronavirus variants, and the power of a country’s genomic sequencing to detect variants.

Obviously, the JBC rating means that only a small number of countries will make the first ‘green’ list. These would include Malta, Gibraltar and Israel.

All tests required for travel to green, orange, and red countries must be paid privately. However, costs have come down and some companies charge as little as £ 45 per test.

Many countries require tests to be completed before leaving the UK, but Greece has recently become the first major European country to announce that vaccinated Britons do not need tests to enter. Spain, Portugal and France have also indicated that they will follow this example.