The UK’s Green List – Who Makes The Cut?

The UK is slowly but surely easing its way out of a lockdown that’s been in place since December.

Until now, travel abroad has been illegal without a valid reason, such as work, as well as a completed declaration form for travel.

But starting from the 17th May, travel will no longer be illegal, although it will be highly regulated, with a traffic light system in place to allow foreign holidays over the summer.

The traffic light system is a way to limit exposure to countries with higher levels of Covid-19 and ultimately protect the country’s virus rates.

Airport

Here’s how the traffic light system works:

Red – Do not travel to these countries for leisure purposes. Anyone returning from a red country will need a negative pre-departure Covid test, as well as undergo quarantine at a quarantine hotel for 10 days with a PCR test on days two and eight.

Amber – Do not travel to these countries for leisure purposes. Anyone returning from an amber country will need a negative pre-departure Covid test, as well as having to isolate at home immediately upon return for 10 days, with a PCR test on days 2 and 8, although they can choose to do an additional test on day 5, which if found negative, means quarantine can end immediately.

Green – Travel for leisure purposes is allowed in these countries. Those coming from green list countries will need a negative pre-departure Covid test, but will not have to isolate at all upon their return, however, they will need to take a PCR test on day two after their arrival.

In all situations, PCR tests are requested instead of lateral flow due to their increased accuracy.

At the moment, only 12 countries make the green list, which is reviewed every 3 weeks.

Those countries are:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Brunei
  • Iceland
  • Faroe Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Falkland Islands
  • Israel and Jerusalem
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • Portugal

Those familiar with the travel rules of different countries may be thinking ‘hang on a minute here….’ as the borders of Australia and New Zealand are closed to any countries except each other, meaning summer holidays down under are still off the cards.

If you’re after a sunny holiday this year, you may be a little disappointed as your options are fairly limited, with Portugal being the hot weather favorite of British holiday-makers, but remember that green countries are reviewed every 3 weeks, so keep your eye out as your favorite destination may be on the list before long. 

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