UK government urged to 'widen the green list' by expert
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The Government is expected to make an announcement about the updates to the travel list later on Thursday, after industry bosses issued a desperate plea for the green list to be extended to encourage a return to travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said ministers “need to look at what the science says”.
Which countries could be added?
We won’t know exactly what the plans are for the green list until the official announcement later.
But there is speculation about which countries could be added, based on Covid infection rates, vaccine roll out and the reliability of emerging data.
The following regions have been hinted at:
- The Balearic Islands
- The Canary Islands
- Some Greek islands
- The US
- Some Caribbean islands
Which countries are already on the green list?
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Israel and Jerusalem
- New Zealand
- South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
Industry bosses are desperate for an expansion to the list, calling for quarantine-free travel for everyone fully vaccinated.
On Wednesday, Mr Shapps told the BBC: “If you’ve been double vaccinated then of course we need to look at what the science says.
“We’ve said that Monday is the point to review that data, so we are coming up to having a look at it.
“We’re looking at it in the next few days and I’ll have more to say.”
Brian Strutton, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa), said: “I am expecting expansion of the green list.
“In fact, there’s got to be. We’re nearly at the point of no return for travel this summer.
“If we don’t start getting some proper destination flying very, very soon, then we’re going to have bankruptcies and business failures.
“I’m hearing suggestions like, ‘Maybe in August’. Well, that isn’t going to be good enough. We need flying now.”
Earlier this week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said ministers were “working on” plans for fully-vaccinated people to be exempt from quarantine if they returned from amber-list countries.
More than 60 percent of UK adults have now been fully vaccinated, while 82.5 percent have had their first jab.
The latest daily Covid figures for the UK also showed a further 16,135 confirmed cases and 19 further deaths.
Hospital admission data is not updated as frequently as cases, deaths and vaccinations, but the most recent data – from June 21 – showed there were 1,508 people being treated for Covid in hospital.
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