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Red list countries: Will any destinations go red soon? Latest travel advice

Author: Kendall Hayes

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Red list countries are currently zero in number after all destinations were slashed at the start of November - but could more be added to the 'no-go' list?

Red list countries have mercifully become a thing of the past this month after all countries were removed from the 'no go' list.

Last week Transport Secretary Grant Shapps posted on Twitter: "There will be no countries or territories added to the red list. We will continue to keep all measures under review."

However, the Government has always warned that destinations could be added to it in the future.

Shapps tweeted when the list was slashed: "We will keep the red list category in place as a precautionary measure to protect public health and are prepared to add countries and territories back if needed, as the UK’s first line of defence."

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Could this be set to change, though as countries throughout Europe have been impose stricter COVID-19 regulations?

The past few weeks have shown a trend of rising cases and infection rates in Europe, despite the vaccine being available to all adults for months.

On Monday morning the Austrian government announced that it would be beginning a temporary national lockdown until December 13.

This lockdown means people aren’t able to leave their home except to go to work, shop for essentials and exercise while unvaccinated people have been banned from public spaces.

The news has impacted cruise holidays, too. Riviera Travel has said it would have to operate alternative itineraries if cruises can't go ahead, while AmaWaterways is reaching out to guests to provide alternative arrangements. UniWorld has suspended select sailings and passengers contacted.

The European Union has a current average of about 66 percent of its population fully vaccinated; the Austrian average is slightly below at 64 percent.

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Belgium is another country that has increased its COVID-19 restrictions.

Starting yesterday, employees are expected to work from home at least four days a week as well as masks becoming mandatory in public spaces.

Thousands of Belgium citizens have been protesting the increase in restrictions.

In the Netherlands, rioting has also been occurring due to an intensification of restrictions.

On November 12, Netherlands Prime Minister, Mark Rutte announced that the country would go into a three-week lockdown.

In Belgium, masks are mandatory in public spaces. Credit: Shutterstock

The lockdown will include the closure of bars, restaurants and essential shops starting at 8pm.

Non-essential retail and services will close at 6 pm and gatherings in the home will be limited to four guests. All amateur and professional sporting events will be held privately and working from home is strongly advised.

Since the Dutch have gone on lockdown, health officials, reported a record of 23,000 new cases on Thursday November 18.

- READ MORE: Which cruise lines require a Covid vaccine? Complete guide to major cruises -

This number is almost double the country’s peak of 13,000 in December 2020.

Travel unvaccinated to the Czech Republic, France or Greece and you may have a problem.

In the Czech Republic, unvaccinated travellers and citizens will no longer be able to provide a negative Covid test to attend public events, go to bars and restaurants, visit hairdressers, museums or even use hotels.

Prague is a beautiful capital city to explore. Credit: Shutterstock

These facilities are only available to citizens or travellers that are double jabbed or have recovered from COVID-19.

In France, a ‘health-pass’ was introduced in July, making it almost impossible to go to a public space unvaccinated.

In Greece, unvaccinated restrictions have increased as the unvaccinated is no longer allowed in non-essential indoor areas such as cinemas, theatres, museums or gyms.

Germany has been experiencing one of the highest COVID-19 spikes in Europe with 30,000 newly confirmed cases on Monday.

This number shows an increase of about 50 percent from the previous week.

According to the World Health Organisation, coronavirus infections across Europe rose by 7 percent and deaths by 10 percent the week of November 12.

This past week, France has seen an 81 percent rise in positive Covid tests.

However, the UK Government has not announced any changes and it is not yet known which countries could face being moved to the red list in the next shuffle.

Nevertheless, many are worried about the growing number of Covid cases - with other countries starting to take action.

Sing carols, ice-skate, eat roast chestnuts, and drink mulled wine on a Christmas market cruise. Credit: Shutterstock

Last week, Qatar added the United Kingdom to its red list.

Fully vaccinated citizens are able to travel from Qatar to the UK if they book and pay for a COVID-19 test to be taken on their second day in England. Additionally, travellers must fill out a passenger locator form.

Unvaccinated travel is a bit more difficult when coming to the UK. Unjabbed travellers must take a COVID-19 test at least three days before travel to England, book and pay for day two and day eight COVID-19 PCR tests and complete a passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive in England.

While you wait to take your day two and day eight tests, you must be in quarantine at your place of stay for 10 full days.

- READ MORE: Marella Cruises Covid restrictions: What rules are onboard? What you can & can't do -

Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor commented on the tightening on rules abroad: “While the rules may have eased for returning to the UK, there are still significant restrictions on British travellers in many countries that could prevent or disrupt your travel.

“International travel remains unpredictable and other countries could still take measures at short notice, such as Qatar’s decision to add the UK to its red list.

In many cases, there’s no automatic right to a refund if restrictions change overseas, so it's absolutely essential people book with a provider that includes the flexibility to rebook if it's impractical for your trip to go ahead.”

Credit: World of Cruising
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