keeping up with travel a new daily podcast from simon calder

One-third inaccessible, one-third closed to travellers and one-third feasible: that sums up the brief “green list” from which international travellers need not quarantine on return to the UK.

Prospective adventurers and the travel industry expressed incredulity after the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, revealed that only 12 nations and territories had qualified for the green list. It soon became clear that only four were realistic prospects: Portugal, Israel, Gibraltar and Iceland.

Of the remainder, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei and Singapore have no intention of welcoming British visitors any time soon.

The other four are Atlantic Ocean territories that cannot realistically be reached from the UK: the Faroe Islands, accessible only via Copenhagen in Denmark, an amber list country; the Falkland Islands, approaching midwinter; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, even more remote; and St Helena and its affiliates, Tristan da Cunha and Ascension Island.

Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Greece and Malta must wait their turn, while Turkey has found itself on the red list – triggering hotel quarantine.

Even an avowed adventurer must accept that a journey overseas has the look of a constantly evolving obstacle course about it – with “go directly to quarantine” the square no-one wants to land on…

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