UK holidaymakers could be free to travel to a number of key European tourist hotspots, including Spain, Greece and France, in time for summer, according to government sources.
A report by The Telegraph suggests that while the initial list of countries that will make it to Britain’s ‘green list’ prior to 17 May is expected to be small, the list will be revised every three weeks, with much of Europe expected to make the cut for the ‘green list’ by the end of June.
“It’s a rolling, evolving list that is going to start off cautiously but could start to change quickly. It is not like a one-off list that affects the totality of the summer. It will update and other countries will be added,” the source said.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stuck to his guns by insinuating that very little accommodation for European summer travel will be made upon the release of the ‘traffic light’ list.
On Monday, PM Johnson stated that the initial “green list” will remain small, so as to avoid an excessive “influx of disease” off the back of tourism.
“We do want to do some opening up on May 17 but I don’t think that the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from anywhere else,” the UK PM said.
“I certainly don’t – and we have got to be very, very tough, and we have got to be as cautious as we can, whilst we continue to open up.”
The Prime Minister copped criticism from his own party of his “overly cautious” approach to intra-European travel for Britons, after the European Commission ruled that fully vaccinated Britons could freely travel to European nation states without the requirement for testing or quarantine from early June.
Despite the backlash, PM Johnson is expected to release the first “green list” later this week, with only a “tiny handful” of countries with high vaccination rates included, such as Gibraltar, Malta, Israel and Iceland.
Much of Europe will remain on the UK’s “amber list”, likely until at least June, which will mean travellers from these countries will be required to quarantine upon arrival in the UK.
Current estimates suggest that Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands could all successfully see 55 per cent of their populations vaccinated by the end of June, making them top contenders for early revisions of Britain’s “green list”.