Green list announcement LIVE – Major update TODAY will reveal countries Brits can visit on holiday without quarantine

AN ANNOUNCEMENT on what countries Brits can visit on holiday without quarantining is expected later today.

The Government has not released an official time for the announcement, there will likely be a Downing Street press conference this afternoon.

While just a "handful" of countries are due to get the coveted green status from May 17 when the list is annoince, a three-weekly review will pave the way for more places to be added.

Popular destinations including Spain, Greece and France are pencilled in by Downing Street to be added by the end of June, reports the Telegraph.

A government source said the list will be updated every few weeks to give Brits the chance to get away.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Claudia Aoraha

    BENEFITS OF THE JAB 'OUTWEIGH THE RISKS'

    These clots occurred in 141 women and 100 men aged from 18 to 93, and the overall case death rate was 20%, with 49 deaths. Six cases have been reported after a second dose of the vaccine.

    A particular type of brain blood clot – cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) – was reported in 93 cases (with an average age of 47), and 149 had other major thromboembolic events (average age 55) accompanied by low blood platelet count.

    The MHRA and JCVI have both said that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine continue to "outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults".

  • Claudia Aoraha

    ALL U40S TO BE OFFERED ALTERNATIVE JAB TO OXFORD/AZ

    All under-40s are to be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine in a precautionary move.

    The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are expected to say there are no new safety concerns after previous data showed the AstraZeneca jab was linked to very rare blood clots.

    Previously, the MHRA has said the balance of risk for the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid is very favourable for older people but "more finely balanced" for younger groups, who do not tend to suffer serious coronavirus illness.

    Up to April 28, the MHRA had received 242 reports of blood clots accompanied by low blood platelet count in the UK, all in people who had AstraZeneca, out of around 28.5 million doses given.

  • Claudia Aoraha

    TURKEY, SPAIN, FRANCE AND ITALY 'LIKELY TO BE ON GREEN LIST BY JUNE'

    Travel consultant Paul Charles said on GMB: "My money for the green list is definitely on Portugal, Malta, Gibraltar, Israel and then a clutch of British overseas territories like Bermuda, Falkland Islands, some other places we may not usually go to.

    "But the wider the list the better, because it proves you can travel safely and responsibly and the government will take a cautious approach, but the good news is the majority of countries we like to travel to, like Turkey, Spain, France, Italy, they're likely to be put on green list at end of June, so that bodes well for summer holidays."

  • Claudia Aoraha

    GIBRALTAR AND ISRAEL TO BE ON GREEN LIST

    Holidaymakers will finally discover which destinations they can visit this summer without quarantining, with Portugal, Iceland and Malta among those expected to be on the travel green list.

    Gibraltar and Israel could also make the cut when the list is published on Friday following weeks of speculation.

    Quarantine and coronavirus testing requirements for people arriving in England once foreign holidays are permitted from May 17 will be based on a new traffic light system, with destinations placed on green, amber and red lists.

    People arriving from a green location will not need to quarantine on their return and will have to take one post-arrival test.

  • Joseph Gamp

    HOLIDAY OPERATOR TUI TO OFFER CUSTOMERS CUT PRICE TESTS 

    TUI, the UK’s largest hols firm, announced it will offer customers tests for a fraction of standard prices.

    The cheapest package, aimed at people returning from green destinations, will be available for just £20, and consist of the rapid lateral flow test and a PCR. A £50 package will be available for those coming back from amber countries.

    Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said the announcement of £20 packages was “great news – but only for Tui customers”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WHAT TO EXPECT ON COMPULSORY TESTING AS PART OF UK'S NEW TRAVEL RISK TRAFFIC LIGHT SYSTEM

    Mr Shapps is expected to confirm that travellers from England will be able to pack a free NHS rapid test to take before they come home to help slash the testing cost.

    Every arrival into the UK will have to take a gold standard PCR test — booked before the holiday — at least two days after coming home.

    The private tests will be used to catch and stop any vaccine-busting variants from entering the UK and usually cost around £120, although some providers on the government list are dropping to around £45.

    There will be no exemptions for fully vaccinated punters.

  • Joseph Gamp

    AIR FARES TO PORTUGAL SOAR AHEAD OF GREEN LIST ANNOUNCEMENT

    Demand for flights to Portugal is surging, indicating that many holidaymakers hope the summer hotspot will be on the Government’s green travel list when it is published on Friday.

    British Airways is charging £530 for a flight from Heathrow to the Algarve on May 17, which is when the ban on foreign holidays will be lifted for people in England.

    Flying the same route two days earlier costs just £234.

    A Ryanair flight from Stansted to Portugal’s capital Lisbon on the day overseas leisure travel restarts is £152, compared with £15 on May 16.

    EasyJet is charging £234 for a flight from Luton to the Algarve on May 17, but just £73 the following day.

  • Joseph Gamp

    HOW WILL GOVERNMENT DECIDE WHICH COUNTRIES MAKE TRAVEL GREEN LIST?

    The traffic light system will be based on certain measures, with countries having to reach certain benchmarks to gain green oist status.

    The factors include the proportion of a country’s population vaccinated, rates of infection and emerging new variants.

  • Joseph Gamp

    HOLLY WILLOUGHBY TELLS OF 'EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE' AS SHE GETS JABBED

    As the successful vaccine rollout continued at home, telly star Holly described the emotional experience of getting the jab.

    But she joked that she felt “left out” because she did not experience any side effects.

    Speaking on ITV’s This Morning, she confirmed she received her first dose on Wednesday, saying: “It’s quite an emotional experience, isn’t it?

    "There’s sort of a real atmosphere that we’re all finally getting that vaccination that we’ve wanted and you’re sort of on the road to being completely safe and protected."

  • Joseph Gamp

    PRIME MINISTER SET TO ANNOUNCE TRAFFIC LIGHT SYSTEM TODAY – AND THE COUNTRIES MAKING THE GREEN LIST

    PM Boris Johnson and his Cabinet were set to sign off the plan to carve up the world into green, amber and red regions depending on their Covid risk this morning.

    Destinations deemed safe will be ‘green’, meaning tourists will have to take a test before they depart, and a second two days after they come home — but not quarantine.

    Those coming back from ‘red’ countries will still have to fork out £1,750 to quarantine in a government-approved hotel.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BRITS SET FOR QUARANTINE-FREE HOLIDAYS TO MALTA AND ISRAEL — BUT FRANCE AND SPAIN NOT ON GREEN LIST

    HOLIDAYMAKERS were today set to be given the ‘green’ light to go abroad without having to quarantine — but only to Israel, Malta and Gibraltar.

    However, hopes of a summer break in Portugal have soared, with ministers poised to also put the popular destination on England’s approved list in the traffic light system.

    Whitehall insiders said that “bar a last-minute change”, Portugal has been declared safe by both government medics and transport chiefs.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was due to reveal the full list of Covid-secure destinations from May 17 at a Downing Street press conference this afternoon.

    Most popular destinations such as France, Spain and Greece are likely to be ‘amber,’ so holidaymakers will need to take two PCR tests during their ten-day quarantine at home. But ministers are confident they will also go green in time for the summer rush.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CONTINUED: BOOZE DEATHS SURGE BY 20% DURING COVID

    It is the highest annual total since records began, the Office for National Statistics said.

    And the increase in alcohol-related deaths worsened throughout the year as strict restrictions were imposed. 

    The ONS said drinking habits had changed dramatically during lockdown, with more people hitting the bottle at home to relieve stress or boredom.

    Dr Matt Parker, of Portsmouth University, said: “The pandemic was stressful for many who lost jobs and livelihoods, and people were isolated, which may have led to an increase in alcohol misuse.

    He added: “Alcohol services were also severely disrupted during the pandemic, with healthcare focused on Covid.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    BOOZE DEATHS SURGE BY 20% DURING COVID AS EXPERTS WARN OF THE COST OF LOCKDOWNS

    A RECORD number of Brits drank themselves to death during Covid — as experts warned of the cost of lockdowns.

    Deaths linked to boozing jumped by nearly a fifth in England and Wales last year to 7,423, data showed.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON SAYS APPROACH TO FOREIGN TRAVEL THIS SUMMER WILL BE SENSIBLE AND CAUTIOUS TO AVOID 'AN INFLUX OF DISEASE'

    Boris Johnson says approach to foreign travel this summer will be sensible and cautious to avoid ‘an influx of disease’

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: DAILY NEWS CASES OF COVID IN THE UK

  • Joseph Gamp

    AIRLINE TICKETS HIKE AHEAD OF TRAVEL LIST ANNOUNCEMENT

    Airlines increase prices in line with demand, indicating that many holidaymakers are hoping Portugal is categorised as a low-risk destination for coronavirus.

    Around 2.5 million British nationals visited the country in 2019.

    The quarantine and testing requirements for people arriving in England once foreign holidays resume will be based on a new traffic light system, with destinations placed on green, amber and red lists.

    People arriving from a green location will not need to quarantine and will only have to take one post-arrival test.

    Those returning from an amber list country must self-isolate for at least five days and take two tests. The red list requires a 10-night stay in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750 for solo travellers.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GERMANY: ASTRAZENECA COVID-19 VACCINE TO ALL ADULTS

    Germany will allow AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to be given to adults of all ages, reversing a previous decision that restricted it to people who are over 60 years old, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Thursday.

    Spahn also said Germany aimed to offer 12-18 year olds a vaccine by the end of August, provided regulators give approval for the BioNTech/Pfizer shot for that age group

  • Joseph Gamp

    AIR FARES TO PORTUGAL SOAR AHEAD OF GREEN LIST ANNOUNCEMENT

    Demand for flights to Portugal is surging, indicating that many holidaymakers hope the summer hotspot will be on the Government’s green travel list when it is published on Friday.

    British Airways is charging £530 for a flight from Heathrow to the Algarve on May 17, which is when the ban on foreign holidays will be lifted for people in England.

    Flying the same route two days earlier costs just £234.

    A Ryanair flight from Stansted to Portugal’s capital Lisbon on the day overseas leisure travel restarts is £152, compared with £15 on May 16.

    EasyJet is charging £234 for a flight from Luton to the Algarve on May 17, but just £73 the following day.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MOST COMMON SIDE EFFECTS OF COVID VACCINE REVEALED

    Headache and fatigue have been revealed as the most common side effects of the Covid vaccines used in the UK.

    Data from one million people show for each of the AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna jabs, the symptoms in the following days differ slightly.

    A descending list of the most frequently reported problems was compiled by Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s College London (KCL).

    Prof Spector is the lead researcher on the ZOE Covid study, which tracks symptoms of the disease, vaccines and the size of the outbreak.

    Using data for app users, Prof Spector said most people reported a headache after the AstraZeneca jab, followed by fatigue.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ADVICE ON WHEN TO SEEK HELP AFTER THE ASTRAZENECA VACCINE

    The UK's medicine regulator, the MHRA, says you should seek medical advice if you have had any of these symptoms four days or more after vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine:

    • a new onset of severe or persistent headache
    • blurred vision
    • confusion
    • seizures
    • shortness of breath
    • chest pain
    • leg swelling
    • persistent abdominal pain
    • unusual skin bruising or pinpoint round spots beyond the injection site

    UNDER-40S ‘WILL NOW BE OFFERED ALTERNATIVE VACCINE’ INSTEAD OF ASTRAZENECA JAB OVER BLOOD CLOT FEARS

    PEOPLE under 40 will be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab over blood clot fears, it was reported tonight.

    The Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), a panel of experts which advises the government, is set to announce the guidance on Friday.

    It is said to have made the decision out of “an abundance of caution” because rates of Covid are so low in the UK. The UK-made jab carries a “vanishingly small” risk of causing serious brain clots – around seven in a million.

    Experts say the risk is massively outweighed by the jab’s benefits for most people, but for the young and healthy the balance is harder to judge.

    The JCVI has already recommended that people younger than 30 are offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead.

    • Joseph Gamp

      CHRIS WHITTY: PANDEMIC OUTLOOK REMAINS 'PRETTY BLEAK'

      Covid-19 is unlikely ever to be eradicated and the outlook for the pandemic remains "pretty bleak" in the medium term, leading Government scientists have said.

      England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the world will continue to see a "significant" number of deaths unless more effort is made to vaccinate the vulnerable globally.

      And he warned that while coronavirus may become a "much milder, chronic disease" in the long term, new variants will continue to cause problems.

      Speaking at a Royal Society online event about Covid-19 on Thursday, Prof Whitty said: "In the medium term, the outlook still looks pretty bleak around the world.

      "I would really reiterate that until we have got a situation where we have induced immunity in those who are most vulnerable everywhere in the world, we will continue to see really significant morbidity and mortality from this virus."

    • Joseph Gamp

      INDIAN COVID-19 STRAIN LIKELY TO BE DECLARED VARIANT OF CONCERN

      A coronavirus strain first detected in India is likely to be elevated to a "variant of concern" after clusters were found in several areas of England, according to reports.

      Cases of the variant have been found in schools, care homes and places of worship in the North West, London and the East Midlands, largely linked to travel, Channel 4 News has reported.

      The broadcaster said it is "highly likely" it will be declared a "variant of concern" on Friday, though cases remain relatively low.

      Such a change can mean an escalation in response from Public Health England (PHE), including ordering surge testing.

      The strain – B1617.2 – is one of three related variants first seen in India which have been detected in the UK and designated "under investigation" by PHE.

      The others are B1617.1 and B1617.3.

    • Joseph Gamp

      US ADMINISTERS NEARLY 252 MILLION DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINES

      The United States has administered 251,973,752 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Thursday morning and distributed 324,610,185 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.

      Those figures are up from the 249,566,820 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by Wednesday out of 321,549,335 doses delivered.

      The agency said 149,462,265 people had received at least one dose while 108,926,627 people are fully vaccinated as of Thursday.

    • Joseph Gamp

      GRAPHIC: SYMPTOMS OF BLOOD CLOT AFTER COVID VACCINE

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