Changes to travel rules have caused mayhem with holiday plans, leading to disappointing last-minute cancellations or airport dashes to beat new restrictions.
And with no clues as to what’s lined up for each update, those looking to take a break from the UK wait with bated breath for the review of the ever-changing traffic light system.
Recent changes to travel restrictions eradicated the need for isolation, day eight tests and quarantine for double-jabbed people from the US and EU countries, as well as Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City.
The UK Government has published a series of travel lists, using a traffic light system to categorise countries into red, amber and green lists dependent on how safe it is for British citizens to travel there and back.
When is the next travel review update?
Travel restrictions are updated every three weeks by the UK government.
With the last review having taken place on Wednesday 4 August, the next travel update is due to take place on Wednesday 25 August.
An update from the Department for Transport states: ‘These regular review points will allow the Government to balance helping the public to understand Covid requirements when travelling to England while allowing us to constantly evaluate the risk for different countries.’
Following each update, travel changes tend to be enforced in the days following – rather than immediately. The last update was published on July 14 2021, with the new rules coming into on Monday 19 July.
Therefore, travellers can potentially expect the latest travel update changes to come into play on Sunday 29 August.
What changes can we expect and will Spain be added to the red list?
Both the government and holiday-goers are paying particular attention to case numbers in Spain to see whether it goes from amber to the red list.
In the past seven days there were 210 cases per 100,000 people reported in Spain, while Greece has 223 cases per 100,000 people.
Turkey, on the red list, currently has a rate of 190 positive cases per 100,000 people.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps discussed the possibility of destinations being moved to the red list and what it means for those looking to get away.
He told Sky News: ‘With coronavirus you can never say there is zero chance.’
‘But having said that, the levels of vaccination and what we now know about the virus and what our scientists have been able to work out in the last year means that people should be able to go away, enjoy their holidays without looking over their shoulders the whole time.’
While no other hints have been given as to what new changes could be introduced, there are ways to prepare for an upcoming holiday.
First and foremost, it’s crucial to book your Covid tests in advance to avoid being caught out.
While you’ll need to double-check the entry restrictions of the country you’re visiting, you often need a negative test before arriving.
Regardless of whether you’re vaccinated or travelling from a green list country, you must have proof of a negative Covid test from a private test provider.
The good news for holiday-goers is that Covid travel test prices were recently reduced from £88 to £68 for one test and from £170 to £136 for two tests.
Another way to ensure you’re prepared for your holiday, and aren’t caught out by any hidden costs, is by taking out travel insurance or checking the terms of your current travel insurance policy to make sure they protect you.
You should be checking FCO guidance ahead of and during your holiday to ensure you’re adhering to advice. Primarily, this involves making sure the guidance does not say people must avoid all, or ‘all but essential travel’.
The status of any country can change at short notice, and if you are in a country that turns from green to amber or amber to red you will be subject to the new rules if you do not leave before its status changes.
Before you make any plans to travel anywhere, you should always check what restrictions are in place at your destination, as each country has its own rules in place for arrivals.
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