BRITS have been given hope that holidays will be able to go ahead from May 17, with the government announcing a traffic light system to open up countries abroad.

Countries will be placed on a green, amber or red list depending on the risk they pose to the UK, as well as the current Covid situation in the country and their own vaccine rollout.

In the case of “green” countries, Brits can travel and return home without having to quarantine but will need to have a negative test to come back into the UK and then take a PCR test within two days of returning.

Brits returning from amber or red list countries will have to quarantine at home or a hotel, respectively.

While the green list is yet to be revealed, although is expected to be later this week, Greece is unlikely to be included.

Despite the country lifting some of their lockdown restrictions, the country is still battling rising Covid cases, with record new daily highs last month of 4,293.

The country's vaccine rollout, which slowly picking up, is also much lower than the UK's 50 per cent with just 20 per cent of the Greek population given the first jab.

This means the holiday hotspot is likely to be on the amber list, meaning families will have to self-isolate for 10 days when returning to the UK.

There is hope that it could be on the green list by June, along with other Europe destinations such as Spain, Croatia and Italy, according to Thomas Cook CEO Alan French.

Greece is already welcoming British tourists back, despite the UK travel ban still in place.

While only vaccinated tourists, or those with a negative Covid test, are allowed to enter, the country has said they will allow Brits to use their NHS paper vaccination cards as proof.

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said the country was happy to accept the paper handwritten card to avoid having to take a pricey PCR test to enter the Med holiday hotspot.

He said: “Until the UK has a digital passport, we have seen the paper cards that are provided with the two vaccine appointment dates and we are recognising them. They can be used on the ground and at the borders.”

It was hoped that the holiday islands in Spain and Greece, which would include Corfu, Zante and Crete, could open ahead of the mainland through a travel corridor system similar to last year, although this has been quashed.

Insiders have warned only a “handful” of countries will be approved for “green” quarantine-free travel due to the Covid situation in Europe.

Portugal, Malta, Israel and Iceland are contenders for the coveted status.

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