Between 20 and 30 destinations are likely to be on the green list when international travel becomes legal on 17 May, according to an industry insider.
The government is set to launch a traffic light system for travel whereby countries are graded as red, amber or green depending on their risk level, with restrictions to match.
Green countries will have the lightest restrictions, with no quarantine required on arrival back into the UK.
Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency, has revealed he believes it’s “highly likely 20-30 countries could be green from the outset.”
In his latest blog post, Mr Charles said that “high level sources” had shared that every country in Europe would be either amber or green initially.
He estimated that the following countries could be designated green right from the off: Israel, Barbados, Morocco, Maldives, Seychelles, Grenada, St Lucia, Antigua and the British Overseas Territories of Bermuda, Turks and Caicos, Falkland Islands and St Helena.
Mr Charles also predicted that the US “will go green before 4 July, Independence Day, as Biden reopens borders to the British as part of a reciprocal deal.”
A timeline of dates suggested that the traffic light lists won’t be unveiled until 6 or 7 May. Earlier this week, MPs demanded that travellers know which countries are on the green list by 1 May.
“As global data is updated on a Thursday each week, this enables the Government to take stock of the latest data on 6 May and then publish its thoughts on how countries will be rated,” wrote Mr Charles.
He then expects Boris Johnson to officially give the go-ahead for the 17 May travel restart a week prior, on 10 May.
There’s also a predicted timeline of other “checkpoints” along the way: 28 June could see the US open up; 31 July could be when travel from major transport hubs in the Gulf – such as Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi – get the green light; and 1 October might be when Australia and New Zealand are accessible again.
“All of this sounds remarkably like the Global Travel Taskforce will deliver a coherent plan for rebuilding overseas travel – let’s hope the government sticks to it,” says Mr Charles.
Asked whether foreign holidays could resume from 17 May, the prime minister’s spokesperson said: “There is nothing in the data that suggests we need to change the dates.”