Green shoots for the travel industry

Posted 11th June 2021

In the May issue of NN Pulse, I talked about the travel traffic light system, which sees countries across the globe assessed and categorised as red, amber or green based on the coronavirus risk and restrictions.

At the time of writing it, we were yet to find out which countries would appear on each list.

The eagerly anticipated announcement of the traffic light lists turned out to be a bit of a damp squib in my opinion.

The following countries will be on the ‘green’ list from 4am Monday 17 May, the day international travel is permitted again: Australia, Brunei, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel and Jerusalem, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

This means that from 17 May, those travelling to green list countries will not have to self-isolate on their return but will be required to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. They will only need to quarantine if they receive a positive result. 

Hotspots for UK holidaymakers, such as Spain and Greece, have not made the green list due to rising Covid-19 cases so I suspect Portugal will prove to be popular!

But, a word of warning to those of you thinking about booking a holiday to Portugal or elsewhere on the green list, airlines will take time to catch up with this announcement and any subsequent ones as more countries are added to the green list. It takes around four to five weeks for airlines to organise flights. This means that any prices you pay now are likely to be expensive estimates. I would advise that you hold off booking until at least a month after any new country is added to the green list. This means you will be paying actual flight prices and there will be a wider range of accommodation to choose from as places re-open, which should also bring prices down.

As we move into summer, I expect that we will see more islands added to the green list, such the Canaries and the Balearics, as they are isolated and reached by a direct flight. 

The unveiling of the green list does signal hope for the travel industry and those missing international travel, but travel will remain complicated for the next 12 -18 months. Make sure you do your research and, if possible, use a travel professional to book your holiday who can support and guide you through the process and be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Rob and Lisa Gower of Dragonfly Traveller work as travel PAs, building bespoke holidays for their customers

Call 01604 661100 or visit to find out more.

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