Summer holiday hope for Balearic Islands and Malta as ‘green list’ gets latest update

24 June 2021, 05:59 | Updated: 24 June 2021, 08:40

Ministers will decide on whether to add more countries to the green list
Ministers will decide on whether to add more countries to the green list. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

Foreign travel rules will be reviewed today as the Government reportedly considers adding Malta and the Balearics to the green list.

Scientists have reportedly advised the government that the popular holiday destinations of Mallorca, Ibiza, and Menorca are safe to visit. But Angela Merkel is leading calls to make all UK travellers enter quarantine when they arrive in the EU due to concerns about the Delta variant.

Travel bosses have demanded the Government either allows it to reopen further or provides extended financial help.

Ministers say they want to stop new cases of Covid and variants from arriving in the UK.

"Of course I very much hope the world could open up," Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said previously.

"We've got to follow the data, and that's what we'll be doing in the meetings over the next few days."

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A traffic light system determines whether passengers have to quarantine when returning from a trip overseas.

The Government says it uses factors including the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated, infections rates and the prevalence of variants of concern to determine where a country is ranked.

Travellers returning from green list countries have to take a pre-departure Covid test and a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival but do not have to quarantine if they are negative.

People coming from amber countries have to take a test before departure, quarantine for 10 days and take a PCR test on days two and eight, with the possibility of leaving isolation early.

Tourists coming back from red countries require a hotel quarantine for ten days. The Government has warned against travelling to amber and red list countries.

Only a handful of territories are on the green list and those countries have their own restrictions on who can arrive – meaning travel options are severely restricted for Brits.

The system has been criticised by travel bosses, with some having called for fully-vaccinated people to be allowed to move more freely.

Read more: Amber list 'update': What are the quarantine rules for travellers?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Government is "working on" the possibility of allowing people with two jabs to travel from amber list countries without quarantining.

Holidaymakers were furious when Portugal was removed from the green list shortly after it was put there, forcing anyone who did not cancel or alter their travel plans to quarantine upon return after it became amber.

The Times has reported that Malta and the Balearic Islands, which includes Mallorca and Ibiza, are among the places under consideration for green list status.

Any update is expected to be announced later on Thursday.