Travel news latest: Balkans and Caribbean islands at risk of moving onto red list

Advice

​Winter sun holidays to Jamaica and Grenada could be off the cards if the two islands are placed on the red list in this week’s review.

The Caribbean countries are at risk of moving to the hotel quarantine category, alongside Serbia, Kosovo and Albania, according to data expert Tim White. Mr White told Sky News that Nigeria could also be vulnerable. 

Jamaica remained amber in the last traffic lights update, but the Foreign Office has since changed its guidance for the country and advises “against all but essential travel to the whole of Jamaica based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks”. There has also been an increase in people arriving in the UK from Jamaica with Covid-19. 

Mr White said Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, “would effectively be admitting a mistake three weeks ago” if he put Jamaica on the red list. Meanwhile, green-listed Grenada has seen a spike in people testing positive for the virus. Mr White suggested that while Albania, Serbia and Kosovo could turn red based on the latest data, they would likely avoid the move.

An update is expected on Thursday or Friday, which could come with a shake up to the current travel system ahead of the October 1 deadline for the Government to assess to current rules.

Scroll down for the latest travel updates.

Auto update

The countries on the green, amber and red lists

The green and amber lists could be scrapped and PCR tests may be replaced with cheaper lateral flow tests for vaccinated travellers, under plans being considered by ministers. 

However, a red list is expected to remain. A review of the current rules, and which countries are on which lists, is expected today or tomorrow.

Here’s how the traffic light categories look following the changes that came into effect on Monday August 30. 

Travel chiefs: Scrap pre-departure Covid tests now, before health doom-mongers object

Ministers were on Wednesday night urged to ditch pre-departure tests for double-jabbed holidaymakers amid fears the plans could be derailed by last-minute objections by health chiefs.

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, and Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, are thought to back the move as part of a new streamlined testing regime that would save a family of four up to £400 on an autumn holiday abroad.

Ministers also plan to replace expensive PCR tests, which travellers have to take on day two of their arrival in the UK, with cheaper lateral flow tests.

They are expected to finalise the plans at a Cabinet Covid-O committee meeting on Thursday or Friday to ensure the changes are in place in time for the autumn half-term break at the end of October.

Read the full story.

What happened yesterday?

A recap of Wednesday’s travel headlines: 

  • Fresh hopes for US and Australia reopening by Christmas
  • White House plans ‘new system’ for international travel
  • Turkey’s cases surge, making removal from UK’s red list increasingly unlikely
  • Switzerland to consider mandatory Covid-19 certification for skiers this winter
  • Britons will no longer need to quarantine in the Netherlands
  • End of PCR tests in sight for fully vaccinated travellers  

Now onto today’s news.

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