Updated: UK travel latest – ‘traffic light list’ and quarantine free countries

Last updated: 24 July 2021

Latest updates on the UK Traffic Light list and countries open for vaccinated holidaymakers

Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK will not have to quarantine upon return from Amber List destinations from 19 July! And if you’re still not sure about the traffic light system actually means, here’s a quick breakdown…

Green

  • One test required within 72 hours of flight to the UK (proof of a negative nucleic acid, such as a PCR, LAMP, or antigen test, must be provided on departure)
  • A PCR test taken on or before Day 2 back in the UK
  • You must complete an online public health passenger locator form

Amber

  • Update (14 July): The UK* governments have announced quarantine rules will NOT apply for fully vaccinated travellers from 19 July, however you will still need to test upon return and have a PCR test on Day 2 of your return. France is excluded from this exemption.
  • The quarantine rules outlined below still apply to all travellers that have not been fully vaccinated.
  • Quarantine for 10 days at home (unless you’re fully vaccinated or under 18)
  • One test required within 72 hours of flight to the UK (proof of a negative nucleic acid, such as a PCR, LAMP, or antigen test, must be provided on departure from the location you’re travelling from)
  • PCR tests on Days 2 and 8, with the option to pay for an extra test on Day 5 to be released from isolation early
  • You must complete an online public health passenger locator form

* The Scottish and Welsh Governments are keeping in place guidance against travel to Amber countries. While this doesn’t impact your ability to travel it does affect insurance.

Red

  • Upon return to the UK, hotel quarantine required, at a cost of up to £1,750 per person for 10 days, including tests on Days 2 and 8
  • One test required within 72 hours of flight to the UK (proof of a negative nucleic acid, such as a PCR, LAMP, or antigen test, must be provided on departure)
  • Not eligible for Test to Release (i.e. you can not do an extra test to be released early)
  • Only UK nationals and residents permitted to travel (no visitors)
  • Direct flights from the red-listed nations are officially banned

Looking for the full list of  Green, Amber and Red Countries? Click here

Remember, this is only for your return to the UK and each destination will have their own rules, including testing to arrive and leave and vaccine and quarantine requirements. So thankfully Unlocked Travel has you covered with our simple search function.

If you are confused by where to start when booking your international trip, we recommend checking out our travel checklist.

If I’m not vaccinated, where can I travel from the UK without quarantining upon arrival at the destination OR when I get back to the UK?

If you aren’t vaccinated, you are reliant on the Green List. Thankfully this has expanded and includes European destination like Malta, Gibraltar, Israel as well as island paradises in the Caribbean like Barbados.

However, Green does not mean go! Currently, UK holidaymakers are banned from entering ‘Green List’ countries including Australia, Bulgaria, New Zealand and Singapore altogether.

If I’m vaccinated, where can I travel from the England without quarantining upon arrival at the destination OR when I get back to England?

As noted, for now quarantine-free returns are limited to English travellers only. For vaccinated holidaymakers, some of our favourites including Spain, Greece, Portugal and Croatia don’t require quarantine upon arrival and now no longer need you to quarantine upon return to the UK. There are now many more options and this is changing daily so check out our search function for your favourite.

France has been excluded from the quarantine exemption and so even after July 19 anyone returning from or transiting via France will need to quarantine.

Don’t be caught out! Countries including the Netherlands and Italy still require self isolation/quarantine upon arrival for Brits, even if fully vaccinated and with a negative test, as they are considered “high risk” due to the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Will the traffic light list change?

Yes, the government has been reviewing and updating the list every three weeks. In the first review Portugal was removed from the list, taking off the only major holiday destination, and showing the continued uncertainty facing holidaymakers this summer. The recent additions are welcome but with the majority being added to the “Green watch list” we would continue to urge everyone to book flexible tickets and make sure your insurance will cover any last-minute changes based on government changes.

Be sure to sign up to our newsletter if you haven’t already to get all these updates direct to your inbox – we trawl the news so you don’t have to!

Happy searching and let us know where you’re hoping to travel to in the comments below…

Joe x

 

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