Holiday traffic lights

By | Category: Travel news

Over the weekend the British government announced that a traffic light system would operate for overseas holidays.

In the EU, Malta has the highest number of vaccinations deivered at the time of writing. This is Crystal Lagoon in Malta

This widely leaked suggestion was not confirmed in the government press conference late on Monday afternoon.

In fact we knew no more on Monday evening than we did at the weekend. We don’t have any idea on how this traffic light system will be decided or which countries or parts of countries will be in which category.

Therefore, in place of the government, let us offer some guidance

If you travel to a country that is listed as being amber or red then you would face quarantine on your return home. The only difference would be that if a country was designated amber then you could isolate at home for ten days but if it was red then you have to quarantine in a hotel of the government’s choosing and pay all the bills.

In effect you should only travel to “green” countries unless you can afford to miss work for ten days by being quarantined.

What countries are on the green list?

No-one yet knows including government ministers. Nor has there been announcement as to whether we can travel from May 17th onwards or whether it will be later other than a suggestion that we are on track

In many ways what the British government tells is of only partial interest. It is the rules that the country you want to visit that matters. If there are lockdowns, curfews, quarantining or such like in the place you plan to visit then that won’t be much of a holiday.

Just as we don’t know what Britons will be allowed to do, so destinations can’t tell us what we will face.

You can expect there to be rules about vaccinations or testing negative before you travel. Without either of those two issues being sorted before you go you probably won’t be allowed to enter your destination.

Guessing which countries will be on the green list is something for closer to the time. Just about Travel expects many islands to be better bets than mainland destinations. The Balearics, Canaries, Malta, Cyprus, Iceland, Greek and Turkish islands seem likely destinations with few rules but it depends on whether vaccination rollout in those places has been widespread. Sardinia, for example, lags behind the rest of Italy is vaccination numbers but then again, it may not be by the middle of May.

In mainland areas, Serbia and Hungary seem best placed to have high vaccination rates by May.

Outside Europe, Morocco, UAE (Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi are the main tourist destinations), Chile and Antigua and Barbuda seem best placed for holiday consideration. Probably most Caribbean countries will be in a good position by May.

And which destinations could be problematic and on the red or amber lists? Probably you should not consider sub-Saharan Africa for a few months as vaccination levels lag behind partially due to no fault of their own.

Then there are countries like Australia and New Zealand which seem unlikely to open their borders for a while.

What does seem appealing to holidaymakers are staycations and round UK cruises.

At the moment the gamble on where to go is yours and the government isn’t going to be helpful on where you might be able to go for at least a few more days!

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