Britons are able to travel overseas from 17 May with the launch of its traffic light system, where destinations are put on green, amber and red travel lists.
As the UK emerges from lockdown, the travel future of English and Welsh residents is looking brighter, thanks to a new traffic light system, which will introduce a green, amber and red list of countries, ready for when (some) international travel resumes on 17 May.
Each traffic light colour will have a different set of rules around COVID-19 testing and quarantining.
During a press conference where all was revealed last week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We want a summer in which we can reunite family and friends, travel to places we love. We want to start looking outward again.”
There are 12 countries on the green list. These are:
- New Zealand
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island
These counties are green because they have low COVID-19 cases and deaths, high vaccination rates and low numbers of ‘variants of concern’.
People who travel to these countries will be required to take one test up to 72 hours before returning to the UK, followed by one PCR test on or before day two of arrival in England/Wales.
Travellers will not be required to quarantine unless they receive a positive test result.
If you’re in the UK and looking to book a trip to one of these countries, it’s worth checking the government requirements there too, as they might have stricter entry requirements, mandatory quarantine on arrival or closed borders (like Australia).
The amber list is pretty long and includes the USA, Canada, Spain, Greece, France, Croatia and Denmark.
People who travel to these countries will be required to take one test up to 72 hours before returning to the UK, and then go into self-quarantine at home for 10 days.They will then have to take a PCR test on days two and eight of quarantine, that is unless they opt to pay for an extra test on day five, which – if negative – reduces quarantine by 50%.
Countries like Turkey, Maldives, Brazil, South Africa and India are on the red list. Travellers have been told they should not travel to red list countries or territories for leisure purposes.
Travellers returning from these countries, or have visited in the 10 days before they arrive back to England or Wales will be required to complete a passenger locator form, take one test up to 72 hours before returning to the UK, and then go into paid hotel quarantine, at a cost £1,750 per person, for 10 days.
They will also have to take a PCR test on days two and eight of quarantine.
All travellers, to all countries in the traffic light system must show a vaccine passport when travelling, proving they have been vaccinated against the virus.
Administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland are still yet to decide if they’ll follow suit or adopt a different approach to travel.
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