New Zealand and Australia on green list despite being closed to ‘almost all arrivals’

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Transport secretary Grant Shapps shared the news in today’s coronavirus briefing. According to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website, the New Zealand border is “currently closed to almost all arrivals”. The site added: “Anyone entering New Zealand (except from a safe zone in Australia) needs to undergo quarantine or managed isolation in an approved facility for a minimum of 14 days.

The full green list includes: Portugal, Israel, Gibraltar, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Brunei, the Falkland Islands, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, Ascension Islands, Tristan da Cunha and St Helena, along with South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

Countries have been categorised using a traffic light system for travel; either being grouped as red, amber or green countries depending on their Covid risk.

Green list countries will have the fewest travel restrictions and with tourists not needing to isolate on their return to the UK.

Meanwhile, countries on the amber list will have to quarantine and those on the red list must pay to stay in a Government quarantine hotel.

Under the current coronavirus rules, Britons must have a valid reason to travel or risk facing fines.

Following, the Government’s announcement this evening, Elise Weber, Co-Founder of Skytra said the traffic light system will bring further flight cancellations.

She said: “While any initiative that gives the green light to travellers flying again is very welcome, the very nature of a traffic light system is that it’s changeable: countries could be back on the amber or red list within a month, meaning passengers will undoubtedly end up booking and cancelling at the last minute.

“Throughout the Covid period airlines have had to deal with an enormous number of vouchers, exchanges and refunds.

“Our data indicates that up to 30 percent of tickets issued by airlines have not been reported yet, which could indicate a significant number of vouchers and refunds still pending.

“Financial liabilities towards customers can only decrease if airlines can properly plan and execute their schedules.

“A good example is the North-American market where traffic is building back strongly compared to Europe.

“Clearly, we need some sort of system to get travel going again while the vaccine roll-out continues, but until we have worldwide alignment on international travel this volatility will continue for at least two to three years.

“In the meantime, the industry has to take advantage of the support and tools on offer to manage this, improve predictability and make smarter decisions.”

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