Three Caribbean islands are at risk of joining the red list at the UK government’s next review of the traffic light lists for travel, according to new analysis.
The popular north African country of Morocco could also slide into the high-risk “red” category, the PC Agency has predicted in its assessment, along with Jamaica, St Lucia and Dominica.
Meanwhile, the research earmarked just five potential additions to the green list – Poland, Bhutan, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Saudi Arabia – reports the Telegraph.
Looking at Covid infection rates, the proportion of tests coming back positive and the level of vaccination, the agency forecast that eight destinations could be demoted from green to amber: Israel, Croatia, Madeira, Lithuania and Montserrat, and the Caribbean islands of Anguilla, Antigua and Turks and Caicos.
“Significant changes could be some Caribbean islands turning red, and Saudi Arabia turning green as well as Israel going amber,” said Paul Charles, travel consultant and chief executive of the PC Agency.
“Much of Europe won’t change because the government would create utter chaos at our borders during the bank holiday weekend and week if they chose to turn some of the most popular countries red, such as Balearics or Spain, and force so many people into hotel quarantine.”
The agency said that, although Spain and its islands were posting Covid rates high enough to warrant being kicked down to the red list, this was extremely unlikely as the UK would not have enough capacity to accommodate the high volumes of returning holidaymakers in quarantine hotels.
Travel from red list countries to the UK currently necessitates an expensive 11-night stay at a government-mandated quarantine hotel, regardless of the passenger’s vaccination status.
However, predictions for destinations’ movements between the colour-graded lists vary between experts.
The Independent’s own travel correspondent, Simon Calder, believes it is “extremely unlikely” that Jamaica will be shunted into the red list at the upcoming review.
“I think it extremely unlikely that Jamaica will go red at the next change, requiring everyone arriving to the UK from the island to go into 11 nights of hotel quarantine,” he said.
“While infection rates on the island have risen six-fold in the past month, they remain well below half of those in the UK. Variants of concern do not appear to be a significant issue.”
The next update to the UK’s travel lists is expected later this week, on either 25 or 26 August.