The Balearics have been downgraded to the UK’s amber travel list due to rising coronavirus cases in Majorca, Ibiza and Menorca.
However, Bulgaria and Hong Kong have moved from amber to the green list and Croatia and Taiwan have been shifted onto the green watchlist.
But Hong Kong moved the UK onto its ‘extremely high risk’ list on 1 July and banned direct flights.
In a tweet, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the British Virgin Islands were also being downgraded to amber.
He also tweeted that four countries will be moved to the red list – but in a bizarre move he didn’t identify the countries.
The red-list additions have since been identified by the BBC as Cuba, Indonesia (which includes Bali), Myanmar and Sierra Leone.
The changes will take effect from 4am on 19 July.
Mr Shapps tweeted: “We’ll keep thee measures under review and be guided by the latest data – we won’t hesitate to take action if needed to protect public health.”
It was widely expected that the Balearics would move to amber during the next traffic light review – travel PR Paul Charles had even speculated this morning that they would be put straight on the red list – but it is believed Mr Shapps brought forward the announcement by 24 hours due to growing concerns about the soaring number of COVID cases, particularly in Majorca.
However, moving the Balearic islands onto the amber list won’t necessarily mean holidaymakers will have to quarantine when they return to the UK since from next Monday those who are fully vaccinated, and all under 18s, will no longer have to self-isolate from amber countries.
But holidaymakers in Cuba will have to scramble to get flights home before next Monday to avoid paying up to £1,750 a head to quarantine in a UK Government-approved hotel when the Caribbean island is placed on the red list.
There are likely to be few holidaymakers in other red list additions Indonesia, Sierra Leone and Myanmar due to their own entry restrictions and general lack of tourism.