Portugal's easing of travel restrictions discussed by Simon Calder

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The next travel review is due to be announced on Wednesday or Thursday this week. It is believed some countries will be moved from the red to the amber list. But which ones?

The next travel update is expected this week, and there are reports the traffic light system could be scrapped in order to simplify holiday rules.

According to Government insiders, there are plans to blend the amber and green list.

The system will be based on the vaccination status of travellers instead of the Covid rates of the destinations.

It is reported the system will also see all PCR tests scrapped for double vaccinated travellers.

However, it is believed the red list of countries will stay in place, with travellers still required to quarantine in hotels on return to the UK.

Travel expert Simon Calder said on social media: “Leaks [and] rumours abound on possible changes to the ‘traffic light’ system.

“We expect the usual spin of the ‘red/amber/green’ holiday roulette wheel next Wednesday. Or Thursday.

“But more fundamental changes could be afoot.”

However, some red countries are expected to be upgraded to amber this week.

There are currently 62 locations on the red list, including Mexico, Tunisia, Turkey, and most of South America and Africa.

The two countries most likely to be added to amber for UK tourists are Maldives and Pakistan.

Turkey is also expected to join the amber list, which will mean fully-vaccinated Britons will be able to go on holiday from next month without having to quarantine on return.

Other countries which could move lists are Oman and the Dominican Republic.

These speculations are based on current Covid and vaccination rates.

Paul Charles, founder of the PC Agency travel consultancy explained: “Turkey very much deserves to be on the amber list as it has some of the best Covid safety policies in place, especially in hotels and other tourist areas and has worked hard to reduce its infection rates.”

When coming from a green or amber country, fully-vaccinated Britons don’t have to self-isolate on return.

Those who haven’t received their two jabs still have to quarantine and pay for at least two PCR tests when returning from amber countries.

Simon Calder commented: “At the moment we’re in this bizarre position where the UK has the highest infection rate of any major European nations and it also has the highest barriers to entry for people coming in.

“But we hope that there would be, from October 1, some substantial change, meanwhile, that shouldn’t be confused with what’s happening next week, maybe on Wednesday, maybe on Thursday, the regular travel traffic light review, which might well see Turkey taken off the red list, and many people are hoping for this, and moved to amber.

“And maybe a couple of low infection countries, Poland and Hungary move to the green list. But I must stress that is pure speculation.”

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