NEWS: More clues to green list, FCDO changes, 3 week notice of changes & Hilton puts up reward nights


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More clues to green list – up to 24 countries & FCDO changes

The Telegraph today published its list of definite and possible greens, which ties up nicely with what is being said by Paul Charles, one of the travel industry’s top consultants from The PC Agency. Paul Charles is predicting that there will be 24 countries in total if you include the British Oversears Territories:

These are:

  • Anguilla
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Montserrat
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

Last summer these were automatically given corridors initially. That leaves 10 countries:

The Telegraph says

  • Gibraltar – green
  • Malta  – green
  • Iceland – green
  • Israel – green
  • Portugal – possible green
  • US – possible green
  • Australia – possible green
  • New Zealand – possible green

However, this misses out lots of islands that are also likely to be green. Although the FCDO criteria is not linked to the traffic light categories, I would expect green countries to not have an FCDO warning against travel. Paul Charles also thought that the Caribbean could be green with Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia and Grenada likely to make the green list.


Some of Scandinavia is also borderline for the green list such as Finland. The issue is that many countries on the list are not open to UK visitors. But fear not, once we know the details of the list we will bring you all the information you need!

Following on from this post which lists the recent FCDO changes to remove advice about essential travel only, they have now removed the warning for Israel, Denmark and Finland. These all seem to broadly tie-up with the predicted green list apart from the Greek Islands and Canaries. It is interesting to note that there is still a warning against all but essential travel to the US. 

Tel Aviv

The meeting to decide the outcome of the list will be held on Wednesday and it should be announced by the end of the week. Once the traffic lights system is active from 17th May, you’ll get three weeks between any colour changes e.g Spain Green to Amber; the lights will be updated every two weeks, with an extra week to get home to the UK before the change is made. Obviously the government reserve the right to change it at shorter notice. Given that the list is likely to be countries that are doing well with vaccines it’s far less likely than last year to have last minute changes and many countries may be going the other way such as Europe which is predicted to be green by sometime in June.


Hilton puts up reward nights, again!

As we come out of the pandemic and hotels try to recoup their losses, I expect them all to start devaluations sadly. Not that long ago Hilton changes the top price for a standard rewards night (there is dynamic pricing so it can be much more or less). At that point, it went up to 120,000 for the Waldorf Astoria in the Maldives. Now today it has been confirmed that there will hotels with 150,000 for a standard night.

The first one will be the Waldorf Astoria in the Maldives, (though apparently there are some still showing at the old price). To be fair, it is one of the most sort after and luxurious properties in the Hilton group with its all-villa offering with a private pool in each villa. The moral of the story at the moment is if you can book something now on points, don’t wait as if you don’t want to try you can usually cancel at short notice on points. Currently, it is only this hotel at the top rate, but I wouldn’t be surprised if more follow shortly!

HT: Loyalty Lobby

6 Comments on "NEWS: More clues to green list, FCDO changes, 3 week notice of changes & Hilton puts up reward nights"

  1. Is the three weeks going to apply to both positive and negative changes? Or will positive (I.E. Amber to Green) be instant as of the update every two weeks?

    • According to what has been stated so far it works both ways, but there’s a chance it could be done quicker as they have a catch all that basically says they can do what they like. Hopefully we’ll get more clarity with the formal announcement

  2. I understand Ireland will be on the Green list also

    • It’s part of the CTA so currently there are no restrictions on travel there or on return from the U.K. end. I can’t see them changing the CTA agreement.

  3. I agree with your comment about taking advantage of booking trips with points etc. at the moment. It might also be a good time to check expiration dates on travel vouchers to prevent them expiring.

    I avoided the bank holiday gales by sifting through my Outlook ‘voucher’ folder and also managed to take advantage of Avios redemptions for flights early next year on JAL & Iberia (Thanks TLFL for the information about keeping Iberia Plus accounts active e.g. Advance purchase Heathrow Express tickets. We saved ourselves about £500 in charges & taxes by booking through Iberia instead of BA)

    Some of the hotel booking sites are still showing no-prepayment or fully-refundable discounted rates right into next year.

    So that’s two fully refundable holidays booked for next year and my Amex account is only £26 lighter (at the moment) for it!

    Once all the processes are in place and it’s safe to travel internationally again I’ll be raising a glass to you Michele, and your team, for guiding us through all this and for the invaluable tips on how to get the best deals 🥂

  4. We have Mexico for early and September which we’re pretty confident on. I have a friend who was there last week and he was out partying in bars both in and outside the normal tourist zones. It’s a BA Holiday and under book with confidence so can be banked if need be but we doubt we’ll need to

    November we have Singapore for four days then on to Koh Chang Thailand for 3 weeks. Reasonably confident being a go but Thailand is up on the air and of course the Thai Gov’s behaviour doesn’t help any. That said we’ve booked flights LHR-SIN-LHR on a 2-4-1. Our domestic flights BKK-TDX-BKK we’re happy to write off and we’re just leaving booking SIN-BKK till the last minute as there are so many carriers on the route getting a decent price isn’t that hard. All hotels are on free canx up till a couple days before so it can all be cancelled late in the day if need be. On thing we won’t be accepting is quarantine. If we have to pay for even 24hrs then Thailand loses our money and we go all inclusive somewhere in the Caribbean instead.

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