Simon Calder, The Independent’s travel correspondent, spoke to readers this afternoon about the possible movements on the UK’s green, red and amber lists, in an online event ahead of the next travel rules update.
Some experts have predicted Jamaica could move from the amber to the red list in this week’s review of the travel traffic light system.
Data analyst Tim White, who has been watching case figures closely in destinations across the world, tweeted:
“Jamaica‘s positive test rate today is 32.4 per cent. Yesterday it was even higher at 49 per cent … It’s really difficult to make a case for Jamaica avoiding red now.”
Writing in a mega-thread of data analysis and traffic light predictions, White had better news for holidaymakers with their eye on Turkey.
Given Turkey’s “increased vaccination rates, safety measures in resorts and now genomic sequencing,” White said, he predicts it will move to the amber list.
In his live Q&A with Independent readers, Simon Calder gave Turkey a ‘50/50 chance’ of going amber in this week’s review.
Follow live travel updates below:
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s travel liveblog, where we’ll be posting all the latest updates throughout the day.
Lucy Thackray25 August 2021 08:01
Croatia, Iceland and Madeira could all be kicked off green list
Croatia, Iceland and Madeira are all at risk of a move from the green list to the amber list in this week’s review of travel rules.
Seven countries and territories have been identified as potential movers from green to amber by Covid and data expert Tim White, who yesterday published his predictions ahead of the next travel announcement.
The next review of the travel lists is expected to be announced later today or tomorrow.
Based on global Covid rates and available data, White forecast that Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, Croatia, Iceland, Israel and Madeira are all at risk of moving off the green list.
“Iceland needs to be removed from the green list despite high testing and strict Covid-19 regime,” wrote White. “Rates are around 175/100k, but it too is not on the watchlist, so it may escape amber.”
Lucy Thackray25 August 2021 08:19
Ask Simon Calder your travel questions ahead of this week’s traffic light review
Join The Independent’s travel team for a live lunchtime event today, where they’ll be answering your burning holiday questions ahead of the government’s next update to the traffic light lists.
The next updates to the UK’s green, amber and red lists are expected to be announced tomorrow, 26 August.
Ahead of the changes, travel correspondent Simon Calder and travel editor Helen Coffey will be on hand for half an hour from 1pm today to whip through as many reader queries as possible.
To join, simply click the link below to book your place at the online Zoom event, taking place live at 1pm today, and feel free to submit your most pressing travel questions in advance.
We will also be covering the event live within our travel live blog so that you can keep up to speed easily by following the updates, and also submit any questions within the comments below the blog.
Lucy Thackray25 August 2021 08:52
NHS Covid passport still not recognised in parts of Europe
British travellers face problems using their Covid vaccine passports across some of Europe, due to a delay in the UK linking up with the EU’s system.
“Gaps in the British government’s application to Brussels” mean the NHS electronic Covid pass has not yet been synced with the EU-wide IT system which tracks vaccination certificates, reported The Guardian yesterday.
Once the UK’s Covid passes are linked to the EU system, they will be automatically recognised as valid proof of vaccination across the EU’s 27 member states.
At present, only around 19 EU countries have officially accepted the NHS Covid pass as proof of vaccination.
Lucy Thackray25 August 2021 10:26
What time is the green list announcement expected today?
The government is expected to announce its next review of travel’s “traffic light” system today, 25 August, or tomorrow, 26 August.
The reviews of the lists currently happen every three weeks, with the most recent update having been announced on 4 August.
The Department for Transport (DfT) will decide which countries are “safe” enough from the risk of arrivals reimporting coronavirus infections to join its hallowed green list, from where travellers need not quarantine when entering the UK, regardless of vaccination status.
Numerous data analysts and travel industry figures have already made predictions for which countries may move between the various traffic light lists.
Helen Coffey25 August 2021 11:23
Ryanair to pull all flights from Northern Ireland
Ryanair has announced it is ending all flights from Northern Ireland’s Belfast International Airport and Belfast City Airport by the end of October.
In an announcement on Tuesday, the budget airline blamed the financial strain of Airport Passenger Duty (APD) and the government’s failure to provide Covid recovery incentives.
“Due to the UK government’s refusal to suspend or reduce APD, and the lack of Covid recovery incentives from both Belfast airports, this winter Ryanair will cease operations from Belfast international and Belfast City airport from the end of the summer schedule in October, and these aircraft will be reallocated to lower-cost airports elsewhere in the UK and Europe for the winter schedule, which starts in November,” said a spokesperson.
Lucy Thackray25 August 2021 11:58
Travel expert Simon Calder takes readers’ questions
Simon Calder, The Independent’s travel expert, is now answering our readers’ travel questions in an online event ahead of the government’s next update to the traffic light lists.
If you have not managed to submit a question in time, feel free to drop it in the comment box below and we will do our best to put it him.
If you did not sign up to watch the event on Zoom, don’t worry – we will be providing live updates on his advice and answers here.
Zoe Tidman25 August 2021 13:02
What are the chances of Spain going on the red list?
Simon Calder has offered some reassurance to holidaymakers hoping to go to Spain.
He said there was very little chance of the popular tourist destination being put on the red list.
“Infection rates across Spain are falling, there are no variants of concern that we need to worry about,” he said.
The current hotel quarantine system also “simply couldn’t cope with the last weekend of August bank holiday weekend” if it was put on the red list, he added.
Zoe Tidman25 August 2021 13:06
What is likely to move to green list?
Simon Calder has taken a guess on the question on everyone’s list: what countries are likely to move to the green list?
He said Poland is likely to join the green list.
“Great country for a holiday, getting a little bit chilly but still great opportunities in along the Baltic Riviera and wonderful cities of course,” he said.
“But more to the point – families need to be able to reconnect.”
He also put Turkey moving onto the amber list at 50/50.
Zoe Tidman25 August 2021 13:12
Will travel to the US be possible soon?
“We are absolutely baffled,” Simon Calder said.
“The US does not need international tourism in anything like the same scale – certainly like southern Europe, arguably the UK as well needs international tourism because it is a big, vast, wonderful country.”
Our travel correspondent said he is “not seeing any fast moves” over reopening transatlantic travel.
Zoe Tidman25 August 2021 13:20