People could be able to travel abroad as early as next month if the UK government continues its plan to open up international travel this summer.
This means UK airports, including Cardiff, will be taking vacationers with them on their long-awaited getaways.
From May 17th, the government will introduce a new traffic light system that will determine which countries people will be allowed to visit this summer and under what conditions.
The new system means that some countries will be put on what is known as the green list, which means no quarantine is required – although travelers will have to test themselves before and after the trip.
The amber list includes countries that require quarantine on arrival but which can be done at home.
Hotel quarantine is required for travel to the Red List of Countries.
It is also unclear how much the additional tests will cost those who wish to travel. The government’s plan calls for a minimum of two PCR tests to be performed regardless of the country – which could cost £ 120 per person.
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said last week that people can now start thinking about booking summer vacation to confirm how the new system will work.
According to the current UK coronavirus lockdown roadmap, it is illegal to travel overseas from anywhere in the UK for vacations and other recreational purposes until at least May 17. After this date, a traffic light system will come into effect.
However, for those who still want to get away with it asap, be it for a vacation or to be reunited with loved ones, there is still no confirmation of which countries are on the first green list.
The uncertainty caused by the plans has already led Jet2 and Jet2Holidays to suspend all flights and holidays for an additional month until after June 23rd.
Although the UK government is pushing ahead with plans to resume the trip on May 17th, Prime Minister Mark Drakeford has criticized it.
Mr Drakeford has previously urged Boris Johnson to postpone the May 17th international travel date, stating that the ongoing third wave poses a very real threat to the possibility of new variants and reinfections appearing across the UK when air travel resumed in England on May 17th.
Although the Welsh government is responsible for most of the rules and regulations that affect daily life in Wales, in practice the governments in Wales and Westminster have overlapping competences that determine how convenient international travel is. With foreign policy largely undone and with the UK’s largest airports located in England, decisions by the UK government and its relationship with governments on popular vacation destinations will be the biggest factor in shaping this year’s vacation.
Which countries could be on the green list of trips?
The government says it is too early to predict which countries will be on which list this summer. It has promised to determine “by early May” which countries will fall into which category and to confirm whether international travel can definitely be resumed from May 17th.
Ratings are based on a number of factors including a country’s percentage of a country’s population vaccinated, infection rates, new variants, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genome sequencing – a process that involves analyzing a sample of virus from a diagnosed patient and comparing it him with other cases.
There are 10 countries most likely to be included based on the latest information.
United Arab Emirates
However, this has not yet been confirmed and is subject to change.
If so, it means many UK tourist favorites, including Spain and Italy, will be closed for the beginning of summer – although they could be added at a later date.
Subscribe to The Coronavirus Briefing, WalesOnline’s daily coronavirus newsletter, to get the latest Covid-19 updates delivered to your inbox.
The Coronavirus Briefing features WalesOnline’s best and all-important stories about how Covid-19 affects people, businesses, politics and Welsh life. From the latest lockdown announcements to infection rates, vaccine news, and more, you will never miss an important story again.
This type of journalism is more important now than ever and we want you to have one click of everything in one place. It’s completely free and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Registration only takes a few seconds. Just click here, enter your email address and check the box for The Coronavirus Briefing.
The Red List is already in operation, 39 countries are already included.
This includes all of South America and southern Africa. Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines were added on Friday.
Travelers arriving from these countries must be quarantined for at least 10 days in specially designated hotels.
Although the government has not yet released a list of countries broken down by traffic lights, it is likely that criteria such as the infection rate per 100,000 people will be considered.
However, this all remains speculation and the government has said the best course of action is to stay in the UK.
Of the 10 destinations believed to be on the government’s green list, three can be reached by direct flight from Cardiff Airport.
Cardiff Airport currently has direct flights to Malta, Portugal and the Caribbean.
However, the airport also offers indirect flights to Israel, Singapore, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, so almost all 10 countries that are expected to be hosted can be reached in some form from Cardiff Airport.
Gibraltar, Malta, Morocco and Portugal can be reached across the border from the 10 destinations on the list from Bristol Airport. The airport also offers a flight to Amsterdam, which offers over 200 additional connections – including all locations that are likely to be on the green list.
All currently expected destinations can also be reached directly or indirectly from London Gatwick and London Heathrow airports.