Here's what travel to green list countries will actually look like

HOLIDAYS have been given the go-ahead by the government who have ditched their advice against booking a trip abroad.

A traffic light scheme will allow quarantine-free travel to countries placed on the "green list".

The new traffic light scheme will class countries as either green, amber, or red, depending on the state of the pandemic and rate of vaccinations.

The countries which could be placed onto the list have not been announced, although Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said they would be in the next two to three weeks.

However, European destinations including Malta, Gibraltar and Portugal are the most likely to be placed on the green list due to their low cases and vaccine rollout.

The US, the Caribbean and the UAE may all be placed onto the green list too.

While a holiday will be quarantine-free, travellers will still have to follow some restrictions – here is what will have to happen.

Before departure

Families will not have to take any pre-departure tests as part of the UK restrictions.

However, holidaymakers will have to check the restrictions in place at the country they are travelling to – just because they are on the UK green list does not mean this is reciprocated by the destination.

Many countries still require a negative Covid test taken no more than 72 hours before travelling which some tour operators offer discounted versions of such as easyJet and TUI.

A recent study found holidays could be as much as £1,680 more expensive on a family holiday to Europe, under the current guidelines requiring a number of tests.

This is because the current rules require five tests, which range from £300 to £400 per person if travelling to Greece, Spain or Italy.

Some EU destinations have said they will allow vaccinated travellers to avoid this.

Other countries are allowing Brits to visit without restrictions if they can show proof of antibodies having recovered from Covid.

Returning to the UK

When returning from a green list list country, families will have to have a Covid test booked before flying.

This differs depending on the country although are much cheaper than the UK, ranging from £50 to £70 in destinations such as Greece, Italy and Portugal.

Brits will also need to have booked a PCR test before returning to the UK, which must be taken on or before the second day after arriving.

These cost around £120 and must be booked from a list of government-approved providers.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has vowed to "drive down" the cost of gold-standard PCR swabs within weeks and told companies that don't "play ball" they'll be blacklisted.

He said: "I'm going to work with the travel industry and the private testing providers to drive down that cost.

"I won't spare those those companies that seem to be profiteering, including potentially removing them from the recommended list."

One idea is for the Government to provide holidaymakers with cheaper lateral flow tests before they travel – which they can then use abroad before getting on the plane.

Those returning from amber countries have even more rules to follow – travellers have to quarantine for 10 days and take two PCR tests at a cost of £210.

People arriving from red list states would be put into hotel quarantine, which costs £1,750 per person.

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