The UK updates its red list- Egypt and Bahrain have been added to the red list, while Portugal has been removed from the green list. Portugal was downgraded to the amber list because of the rising positivity rate. And now Italy has imposed restrictions on all unvaccinated tourists visiting the nation from abroad. As per the National Tourism Agency of Italy, everyone above the age of 12 must produce a health pass to be permitted for certain activities and services. The Italian health pass is issued for people who have at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine or who have recently recovered from the virus.
Portugal Downgraded From Green To Amber List
Portugal was added to the amber list over the concern of mutation of the so-called Indian variant. It means that people planning leisure travel to the UK from Portugal would not be advised to visit Britain anymore. Whereas- returnees would have to also isolate for 10-days and take two highly-priced PCR tests on the second and eighth day.
🇵🇹Portugal has moved to the amber list due to variants of concern and emerging mutations.
🔴 7 countries have been added to the red list. Changes will come into effect from 4am on 8 June.
— Department for Transport (@transportgovuk) June 3, 2021
On this, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the move was a “safety-first approach”. Furthermore, Mr Shapps also confirmed that no new countries will be added to the UK’s green list.
UK’s Main Priority Is Vaccine And Its People Says, PM Boris Johnson
The news didn’t sit down well with airlines and travel companies, as Portugal was the lifeline for them over the last three weeks. The travel industry was expecting more visitors from Portugal. However, with this rule in place, the airlines and companies will face weeks of cancellations and more uncertainty.
UK’s aims to protect its people and to focus on the vaccine programme. On this, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said,
“We will have no hesitation in moving countries from the green list to the amber list to the red list, if we have to do so. The priority is to continue the vaccine rollout, to protect the people of this country.”
UAE Still Remains On The Red List With No Changes
Meanwhile, the UAE remains on the red list, and UAE ambassador to Britain, Mansoor Abulhoul, said he was disappointed that the UK has kept the nation on its red list. Mr Mansoor also questioned the UK’s decision of keeping the UAE on the red list, citing that the UAE is second globally for its vaccination rate. He said,
“It is disappointing to see that the UAE has remained on the UK’s red travel list. We have best-in-class health and safety infrastructure to protect visitors and residents. It includes rapid testing, social distancing and sanitisation procedures at our airports, as well as Emirates and Etihad airlines fully sanitising all planes.”
Meanwhile, in terms of the red list, it was announced that the UK would allow travellers from red list countries directly through assigned airports under a new trial scheme- however, they have to quarantine in government-approved hotels first.
In terms of the green list, only 11 countries are now on the green list, including- Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Iceland and more.