*Article updated August 5th 2021
The traffic light system was first introduced in May 2021 as a way of enabling international travel to resume.
This system means countries will be assessed on a range of factors including rates of infection, the percentage of the population vaccinated and the emergence of new variants among other things. Green countries and territories are the ones with the most effective vaccination programmes and lowest infection rates.
Travellers returning from Red countries will be required to self-isolate for 10 days in a Government approved hotel at their own expense and take multiple tests.
Travellers returning from Amber countries will be required to self-isolate at home and take multiple tests. All countries not on the green or red list are considered amber. *On 8th July the Government announced that people returning from amber countries that have had 2 doses of vaccine, will not need to self-isolate starting from 19th July. This includes children under 18 that have not been vaccinated. The vaccines must have been done by the NHS in the UK. You will still need to take a test before returning and on day 2 after arrival.
Travellers returning from Green countries will not be require to self-isolate but have to take a test on departure and and a PCR test when returning. You will also need the NHS App to show you have been vaccinated.
This does not include any restrictions or requirements that may be in place by individual countries. Even if a country is on the UK green list it may well impose it’s own restrictions for travellers. However, given the devastation to the tourist industry across the world many popular holiday destinations are anxious for people to return.
For more information see this article on the traffic light system.
Green list countries
As of 5th august 2021, the list of green countries has grown from an initial 6 in June to 36. These now include Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia and Germany in Europe.
Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Iceland are also included as are many other less popular destinations such as the Pitcairn and Henderson Islands.
It’s important to note that the countries on this list may have their own requirements or may not allow travel anyway. The best way to check is on the GOV.UK travel advice pages.
Amber list countries
In early august the government announced that fully vaccinated people did not need to quarantine when returning from amber list countries. A majority of countries and territories are on the amber list and include Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Russia and many others. A full list can be found on the GOV.UK country list.
Red list countries
There are over 40 countries on the red list including Pakistan, Tunisia, Turkey, much of Africa and South America. Some amber countries were relegated to red in the recent update.
The list is due to be reviewed every three weeks so the next announcements will be on or around 26th August.
When the announcements are made they will be reflected in the official Government guidance pages and it will be made clear just where and when people can travel, including restrictions in the destination country.
The countries on the green list will grow over time so the list will be constantly updated. It’s also possible that any destination on the green list that has an increase in cases or the emergence of a new variant, will be put back to amber or even red.
Most holiday companies and travel insurance providers now cover for covid related cancellations so if you do book a holiday somewhere and you can’t travel because of coronavirus restrictions you should be able to change the dates or get a refund. It is certainly something to consider when you book.
We will update this article as soon as announcements are made and hopefully we can get in a foreign holiday this year somewhere. The UK’s holiday destinations might get full up so travelling abroad becomes an even more attractive option. Beautiful places like Cornwall are less attractive when there are queues of traffic miles long, the beaches are full up and you can’t get seated in a restaurant.Stay Informed
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