A traveler leaves a test center at Heathrow Airport in London on January 17, 2021.
Hollie Adams | Getty Images News | Getty Images
LONDON – UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Friday the ‘green list’ of countries UK residents will soon be able to visit without being quarantined on their return.
Travel was severely restricted during the heaviest months of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. However, as of May 17th, people in England will be allowed to visit certain countries, although some restrictions still apply.
Twelve countries will be on England’s so-called “green list”. Travelers to these countries must be tested prior to departure and upon their return. However, they do not need to be quarantined on their return.
The 12 countries are:
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
St. Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island
Outside of these 12, other nations have been divided into “amber” and “red” lists – the latter requiring the strictest of measures. Turkey was a notable name that was added to the Red List on Friday.
Popular destinations for the British such as France and Spain were not yet put on the green list at this point. Shapps said at a press conference on Friday that countries on the green list can have their status withdrawn at any time.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will separately announce their own travel restrictions for their residents.
British travelers are also exposed to travel restrictions in other countries, such as Australia and the United States.
U.S. and European airlines, as well as a multitude of travel companies grappling with a slump in international travel, urged their governments this week to relax the travel rules that are currently preventing most Britons from entering the country an increase in vaccination rates in their respective countries.
“We continue to encourage the US to implement a two-way policy that allows fully vaccinated travelers to travel to the US from countries with similarly successful vaccination programs,” said Airlines for America, a trade group that promotes most of the US major Airlines, including American, represents, Delta and United.
Airline executives have expressed doubts about restoring most US-Europe travel this summer, with restrictions still in place, but have been more optimistic about the possibility of re-opening UK-US travel.
American airlines have announced new flights to some destinations that have opened or are planned, such as Greece, Iceland and Croatia, in the past few weeks.
– CNBC’s Leslie Josephs contributed to coverage from New York.