Which countries are on the green list

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It has recently been announced that a traffic light system could be put into place when international leisure travel resumes. At the moment the date is set for 17th May 2021 but this is under review and more details should emerge when a report is published by a Government advisory group on the 12th April.

The traffic light system means countries will be assessed on a range of factors including rates of infection, the percentage of the population vaccinated and the emergence of new variants among other things. Green countries and territories will be with the ones with the most effective vaccination programmes and lowest infection rates.

Traffic lights

Travellers returning from Red countries will be required to self-isolate for 10 days in a Government approved hotel at their own expense and take multiple tests.

Travellers returning from Amber countries will be required to self-isolate at home and take multiple tests.

Travellers returning from Green countries will not be require to self-isolate but may still have to take a test on departure and entry.

This does not include any restrictions or requirements that may be in place by individual countries. Even if a country is on the UK green list it may well impose it’s own restrictions for travellers. However, given the devastation to the tourist industry across the world many popular holiday destinations are anxious for people to return. Some countries have already announced they will welcome brits back with open arms in May including Cyprus, Turkey and Spain. Whether that will be possible or not remains to be seen.

Green list countries

At the moment it’s not clear which countries will be on the green list and the Government are not giving much away! However, there is lots of speculation and guess work based on the factors that will be taken into account and it’s suggested the following countries could be on the green list:

Europe has not done well with it’s vaccination programme or bringing down infection rates. It’s thought only two or three European countries will make the initial green list and these could be Malta, Portugal and British overseas territory Gibraltar. Spain could be on the amber list if current improvements to the situation there continues. It’s unlikely at this stage that any of the other key European destinations will be on the green list despite their welcoming language.

Like the UK, the USA currently has a very effective vaccine programme and could well be on the green list. However, they may be rather choosy as to who can visit their country at this stage.

North of the USA, Canada may be on the list and further south we could see Barbados, Mexico and maybe Granada.

In the middle east Israel, which has led the world in vaccinations could be a contender as well as the United Arab Emirates.

Finally two other potential countries could be the holiday hot-spots of Sri Lanka and Morocco.


Of course this is speculation to a certain extent and based on ‘educated guesses’ by travel industry professionals so please don’t book your holiday on the basis of this article! When the announcements are made they will be reflected in the official Government travel advice pages and it will be made clear just where and when people can travel, including restrictions in the destination country.

The countries on the green list will grow over time so the list will be constantly updated. It’s also possible that any destination on the green list that has an increase in cases or the emergence of a new variant, will be put back to amber or even red.

Most holiday companies and travel insurance providers now cover for covid related cancellations so if you do book a holiday somewhere and you can’t travel because of coronavirus restrictions you should be able to change the dates or get a refund. It is certainly something to consider when you book.

We will update this article as soon as it becomes clearer which countries will be on the green list and hopefully we can get in a foreign holiday this year somewhere. With staycations the only option at the moment, the UK’s holiday destinations might get full up so travelling abroad becomes an even more attractive option. Beautiful places like Cornwall are less attractive when there are queues of traffic miles long, the beaches are full up and you can’t get seated in a restaurant.

Don’t forget that when you do travel we can show you the best live, up to the minute exchange rates for your currency from the UK’s leading providers.

Posted by Graham Morley

Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager for Compare Holiday Money.

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