The UK government, in the latest review of its ‘travel light’ travel lists, on 14 July, removed the British Virgin Islands from its green travel list amid a marked increase in COVID-19 cases there.
On 1 July, 350 cases had been recorded in the BVI, and by today, 15 July, that number had risen to 1,559.
BVI, along with the Balearic Islands, consisting of the popular holiday destinations of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, were moved from green to amber.
The UK government also moved Cuba on to its red list, after the island recorded more than 60,000 new COVID cases among its 11 million population since 1 July. Only British or Irish nationals or those with UK residence rights are allowed to enter Britain if they have been in a red-list country within the 10 days prior to their arrival.
Indonesia, Myanmar and Sierra Leone were also added to the red list.
All the latest changes to the lists, which are updated every three weeks, will take effect on Monday, 19 July.
Cayman on green watchlist
The Cayman Islands, along with 15 other green-list countries and territories, are currently on the UK’s ‘green watchlist’, meaning, if COVID conditions change rapidly, they are at risk of being moved to the amber list. Taiwan and Croatia will be added to the green watchlist on 19 July.
Cayman, which recently marked one year free from community transmission of COVID, moved from the amber list to the green list on 24 June, enabling travellers from here to enter the UK without quarantining. All new countries added to the green list on 24 June were also added to the green watchlist, with the exception of Malta.
The green watchlist is a sub-category of the green list, which aims to identify the places most at risk of moving from green to amber. It aims to avoid abrupt changes which last year led to travellers rushing back to the UK, as quarantines were imposed on those arriving from countries and jurisdictions at short notice.
According to the UK government’s guidelines, if conditions change in a country or territory, it can be moved from the green list to the amber or red list, and any green-list places at risk of moving to amber also will be listed on the green watchlist. “If there is a sudden change in conditions, a country or territory may be moved between lists without warning,” the guidelines state.
Currently, the only ‘green’ places not on the green watchlist are Australia, Brunei, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Malta, New Zealand, Singapore, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, and St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.
Under recent changes to requirements under the amber list, people vaccinated in the UK returning from amber-list countries are not required to quarantine, but anyone vaccinated elsewhere will need to isolate for 10 days.