Covid: Where can I go on holiday, what are the rules, and why's everybody talking about Portugal?

Covid lockdown rules are easing for nations across the UK beginning on 17 May, with those in England and Wales able to travel overseas on holiday from Monday.

There are still a number of rules in place, however, with a green, amber and red list for international travel.

So where can you go, what regulations will you need to follow, and why is everyone talking about Portugal?

Here are your questions answered.

Why is the so-called 'traffic light' list important?

The green, amber and red list determines the quarantine and Covid testing requirements people will face when returning home once the ban on overseas leisure travel is lifted on Monday May 17.

Portugal is a popular holiday destination Credit: PA Images

Why is everyone talking about the green list?

Travellers returning from a country on that list will not need to quarantine, and will only be required to take one post-arrival coronavirus test.

What locations are on the green list?

The list is limited, so far it consists of Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

It also includes several small remote islands which are British Overseas Territories.

You can't however, actually get to some of the locations on that list. Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and the Faroe Islands have severely restricted entry criteria and tourism isn't one of them.

Many Brits are desperate to go on holiday after over a year of lockdown. Credit: PA

So where can I actually go?

Portugal plans to welcome UK tourists who have had a recent negative test, have recovered from the virus and therefore have antibodies, or had both doses of a vaccine.

Gibraltar will not require UK visitors to be tested or vaccinated, whereas Israel will initially reopen its border on May 23 only to groups of foreign tourists who have had both jabs.

None of these destinations will require arrivals to quarantine.

What about the amber list?

That covers the most popular holiday destinations such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said "you should not be travelling to these places right now" but all locations will be regularly reviewed.

It's not illegal to visit amber list countries, but the government has advised against it, ITV News Political Correspondent Romilly Weeks explains

How about the red list?

Those returning from a red list country must stay in a quarantine hotel for 11 nights at a cost of £1,750.

Will the lists change?

The lists will be amended every three weeks, but Boris Johnson said on Friday he did not expect new countries to be added to the green tier "very rapidly".

EU countries are expected to reverse their decision to ban UK from their travel list, ITV News Europe Editor James Mates

How does the government decide which countries are on each list?

There are four key tests that the government will take into account when deciding how to categorise a country within the traffic light system.

These include the percentage of the country’s population to have been vaccinated, the rate of infection, the prevalence of variants of concern and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

What about vaccine passports?

Grant Shapps confirmed that people in England will be able to demonstrate they have had both doses of a vaccine through the NHS app.

The Welsh Government said vaccination status certificates will be available from Monday May 24 for people in Wales who have had both doses and need to urgently travel to a country that requires proof of having been vaccinated.

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Can people living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland go on a foreign holiday?

People in Scotland will be allowed to travel abroad for leisure from May 24.

Non-essential travel from Northern Ireland to the Common Travel Area – which consists of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, will be allowed from the same date.

While Wales will allow international travel from Monday aligned with England’s traffic light system, the Welsh Government’s concerns about reimporting the virus meant it is advising people not to travel abroad during 2021.