Travel experts have said a host of new destinations should be added to England’s green list based on falling infection rates.
Britain’s Joint Biosecurity Centre, which advises the government on the traffic light system used to regulate travel during the pandemic, is understood to be reviewing the countries. A final decision will be announced next week.
The UK government is also said to be considering easing restrictions for fully vaccinated British expatriates arriving in England from amber countries from August 1.
Different rules apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Unvaccinated passengers are allowed to visit green-list countries from England without self-isolating upon their return. Fully immunised travellers may also visit amber-list countries without the need to quarantine when they come back.
Paul Charles, chief executive of The PC Agency, which provides public relations to travel companies, said at least 10 destinations should turn green based on infection and vaccination rates.
He cited Austria, Germany, Italy and Canada as examples.
“Our analysis shows at least 10 countries will be added to the #UKGov green list next week – of course it should be many more. But usual government caution will prevail,” he tweeted.
Another analyst, former British Airways strategist Robert Boyle, told The Telegraph that 11 countries should be placed on the green list.
By “reverse engineering” the algorithm used by officials who decide the travel list, he said, green destinations have a case rate of below 20, test positivity of 1.5 per cent or less and a testing rate of one or more per 100,000.
He listed Austria, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Azerbaijan, Bhutan and Vietnam as deserving of green-list status.
A total of 29 countries and territories are currently on the green list, few of which are popular among tourists from the UK.
Would-be holidaymakers must also contend with the travel rules at their destination. Many countries impose restrictions on passengers from Britain because of the prevalence of the Delta variant.
But hopes of two-way quarantine-free travel were raised last week when Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said the government hoped to enter a reciprocity deal with 33 countries that recognise the National Health Service app.
Those countries include much of Europe, plus some long-haul destinations including Barbados, Anguilla and the Cayman Islands.