British Transport Minister Grant Shapps warned this Friday of the “risk of things changing” and destinations such as Madeira being demoted from the “green list” to the “yellow list” of British international travel.
The British government announced on Thursday that Madeira, Malta, the Spanish and Caribbean Balearic Islands, including Barbados, and other British Overseas Territories will be added from Wednesday to the “green list” of international travel.
This means that travelers from those destinations are quarantine free on arrival in England, a decision reproduced by Scotland and Northern Ireland, but not Wales.
However, Shapps pointed out that, of the 14 new entries, only Malta is not on the “green list under surveillance”, which identifies the destinations most at risk of descending again to the “yellow list” due to a higher risk.
“If people find themselves in a situation where, starting next week, they want to go out, then these are the places they can go on vacation. Of course, being aware of all the caveats about the risk of things changing because, with this virus, we know that this happens”, he told the Sky News.
This new list aims to avoid the chaotic scenes of tourists returning in a hurry when the rules for different countries change, as happened with Portugal, when it passed the “green list” to “yellow” in June.
Israel and Jerusalem have also been moved from the “green list” to the “green list under surveillance”, while the Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Haiti, Mongolia, Tunisia and Uganda move from the “yellow list” to the “red one”.
Currently, international travel from the UK is regulated by a ‘traffic light’ system, which classifies destinations according to epidemiological risk.
While the “green list” exempts travelers from quarantine on arrival in British territory, the “yellow list” mandates 10-day isolation, as well as two PCR tests, on the second and eighth day.
THE “red list”, whose countries represent a high risk due to the circulation of new variants of the coronavirus, requires a 10-day quarantine in a designated hotel, in addition to two PCR tests, and travel is prohibited for non-essential reasons to those destinations.
Grant Shapps said that people who were fully vaccinated “later in the summer” would be exonerated from quarantine on the return from the countries of the “yellow list”, but he said no dates, claiming to be studying how to deal with minors or people who are not immunized.
The UK, which is currently experiencing a new pandemic wave caused by the Delta variant (initially detected in India), has registered 16,703 new cases of covid-19 in the last 24 hours, a maximum since 6 February, and has totaled 128,048 deaths since its onset of the pandemic, the highest number in Europe.
However, it is also one of the most advanced countries in terms of vaccination, with 83% of the adult population receiving a first dose and almost 61% the two stipulated doses.
The covid-19 pandemic caused at least 3,893,974 victims worldwide, resulting from more than 179,516,790 officially diagnosed cases of infection, according to the balance made by the French agency AFP.
In Portugal, 17,079 people died and 869,879 cases of infection were confirmed, according to the most recent bulletin of the Directorate-General for Health.