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Here are the 12 countries and territories on the travel Green List

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The Government has announced the countries and territories on the initial Green List.

This applies only to England. Different rules may apply to those who live in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but no announcements have been made yet.

International leisure travel will once again be permitted from the 17th May. To facilitate the move, the UK Government has announced it is moving to a traffic light system that will categorise countries based on:

  • the percentage of people vaccinated
  • the number of Covid-19 infections
  • whether there are any variants of concern
  • the reliability of the country’s testing and genomic sequencing facilities

Each country will be labelled ‘Green,’ ‘Amber’ or ‘Red,’ with varying entry requirements when you return to the UK.

12 countries and a number of territories are on the initial Green List.

The list will be updated every three weeks.

This is how the categories are defined:

Green countries: You will need to take a pre-departure test (can be lateral flow) as well as a PCR test on or before day 2 of your return into England. You will not need to quarantine unless or take additional tests unless your tests come back positive.

Amber countries: You will need to take a pre-departure test before returning to England and must quarantine at home for 10 days, taking a PCR test on day 2 and day 8. You can choose to take an additional PCR test on day 5 under the optional ‘Test to Release’ scheme, which allow you to end your quarantine early.

Red countries: You will be subject to a 10-day quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel, with testing prior to your arrival in England as well as on day 2 and day 8. You cannot reduce your quarantine period and must pay for the hotel.

In addition to the three traffic light restrictions the Government has also promised a ‘Green watchlist’. This will be used to to indicate countries that are currently categorised as Green countries but are likely to drop to Amber or Red shortly. No countries are on this list so far.

Which countries are on the Green List?

Here are the countries on the initial UK Government travel Green List.

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

For clarity, just because a country is on the Green List does not mean that you will be allowed to enter.

You will need to meet the local requirements regarding vaccination and/or testing.

The Government has confirmed that you should be able to access your vaccination status on the NHS app by 17th May. If not, or if you do not have a smartphone, a letter will be available – this can only be requested by calling 119 from 17th May.

Which countries are on the Red List?

Here are the countries on the Red List. Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal were added today. Anyone returning from these countries will be required to undertake 10 days of hotel quarantine.

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

What countries are on the Amber list?

Any country or territory not listed above will be on the Amber list. This will require 10 days of home quarantine.

You can see the full Amber list on this page of

What are the cheapest covid testing providers?

You will not be able to use NHS testing facilities for travel: you must pay for private tests.

The cheapest PCR test at present is provided by Eurofins, from £44.90 for an at-home test kit.

You can compare all Government-approved covid testing providers on this helpful page of


British Airways CEO Sean Doyle said in a statement:

We’re pleased that our customers are able to start travelling again to some countries, including Portugal, and we’ve put on additional flights from London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh to Faro to help people get moving.

What’s clear is that with high levels of vaccination in the UK being matched by other countries, we should see more destinations going ‘green’ before the end of June.  It’s disappointing to hear that despite the stringent safeguards introduced for travel from ‘amber list’ countries, the Government is now suggesting travellers avoid these.

We cannot stress more greatly that the UK urgently needs travel between it and other low-risk countries, like the US, to re-start the economy, support devastated industries and reunite loved ones.

We will update this article later with more information as it is released.

Comments (299)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • John says:

    This seems crazily restrictive. For months on end, Johnson completely messes up the UK’s vivid response. But since early this year, the rules couldn’t be any more punitive? Not even Malta on the list?

    Sorry for making a rare political statement here, but this sure feels excessive.

  • Robert says:

    Are we still allowed to leave quarantine for the purpose of leaving the UK? For example if you have 4 days in the UK before travelling on to another country.

    • Rob says:


      • meta says:

        But you’d still need to pay for full 11 nights…

        • John says:

          They didn’t say they were coming from a red country – if they were it wouldn’t make any sense to transit the UK when there are other countries available to transit

          • meta says:

            They mentioned quarantine (red countries) which is different to self-isolation(amber countries).

  • Vinz says:

    Just booked my holiday to Saint Helena in August, can’t wait!
    Said no one ever…

    • David says:

      Remember the list is not a ‘holiday list’ – it is about travel restrictions. Indeed that is probably why Grant Shapps focused on more practical destinations.

      And in specific response to your comment, actually yes – some people did. Plenty of people go on holiday to places they have family or historic ties too. Even in the days of it being a RMS sailing to get you there.

    • Gruntfuttock says:


  • Vinz says:

    I really don’t understand these rules. What’s the point of being vaccinated if I have to go through the testing ordeal upon my return? And why is everything bloody expensive in the UK? Self-administered PCR test in the UK = at least £150. Private lab PCR test in Italy = €22. I mean…

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You’re behind the times. Random offer them for £60 of which £10 is vat.

    • Memesweeper says:

      ‘ What’s the point of being vaccinated’…

      To protect you and the community. Not to open up international leisure travel opportunities.

    • J says:

      @Vinz. Maybe wait until everyone has been offered at least the first jab before whinging. Bit like pushing your way through the queue at a gig and then complaining that you have to sit through the warm up act.

    • Mike says:

      Because being vaccinated doesn’t stop you catching covid, it reduces the chances of catching it by a significant amount and drastically reduces the chance of dying. So if YOU choose to go on holiday and spend money on flights, hotels and expenses then YOU can budget for some testing. If that doesn’t appeal then wait until next year or go on holiday in the UK.

  • Karl75 says:

    I have Portugal booked for two weeks time from Manchester. What is the situation regarding testing? I understand I’ll need to test before I fly, which I can do at the airport, but what about the return journey. I understand I can be tested on the day in Lisbon, but is that test then good for my arrival back in Manchester, or will I need to be tested again?

    • James Vickers says:

      You can do an antigen test in Portugal before you fly and then need PCR on day 2 after returning

    • John says:

      Assuming you are an Englishman from Manchester, you are currently not allowed to enter mainland Portugal for non-essential purposes.

      • Karl75 says:

        This is after the 17th May.

        • John says:

          @Karl75: What I meant is that mainland Portugal currently does not allow non-essential travel for countries like the UK which are outside the EU as well as outside of Schengen.

          I haven’t heard any annoucement this will change soon. (Although formally, Portugal will need to renew existing restrictions–it’s been doing so regularly.)

          • Karl75 says:

            Well, there’s hundreds of thousands of people booking flights there on the basis that they can go on holiday. They want/need us to go on holiday there. That’s what the “Green list” is about.

          • AndyGWP says:

            @karl – I think you’ve misunderstood. Portugal don’t want you to go there on holiday (regardless of whether the U.K. have given it green status, Portugal have not reciprocated this)

          • AndyGWP says:

            @Karl – hopefully this link explains it better… 🙂


          • Karl75 says:

            @AndyGWP. Their Minister for Tourism said, as recently as 3 days ago:

            “Asked if Portugal wanted to receive British visitors as well as those from other EU states, Marques said: “For sure. We are really pushing hard to open up to third countries like the UK.

            She added: “The British market is really important to all of Europe. We are ready to welcome you when you are ready to come.”

            This seems pretty explicit to me.

          • AndyGWP says:

            Understood Karl, but as things stand that’s just a minister expressing their wishes. Fingers crossed they can turn the situation around for you in the next two weeks tho 👍🏻

          • Track says:

            @Karl75 You are mixing up politician’s talk, especially from someone like minister for tourism with what’s on the ground.

            Whichever the tourism minister’s wishes are, Portugal will be subject to decisions from the EU. They are in Shengen zone and can’t just open borders unilaterally.

        • Track says:

          Don’t know what “Green List” is about but it is definitely not an invitation to travel by the receiving countries.

          Those are countries deemed ‘safer’ by the UK but it does not mean they will let you in.

          Australia and Singapore will not let you in, even if AU citizen you still have to secure a spot on a sparsely-seated plane.

    • gl says:

      In the same boat – could anyone recommend a provider for the pre-flight lateral flow test on the way back?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        You may be able to use 1 of your 2 weekly free lateral flow tests. I would wait for more info over the next couple weeks.

  • Sukes says:

    For those wanting to get granular on following the data regarding their holiday plans, the summary data table used by the Joint bio security centre to decide on green countries has been published at

    • GeorgeJ says:

      Thanks for doing this though it just highlights how subjective it still is.
      It shows the incidence of positive tests in visitors arriving from the green and new red list countries.
      The Maldives should probably feel hard done by, they seem to have just as good results as many of the green list countries and they have gone red.

  • Alex Sm says:

    I gambled with Gibraltar holiday in June booked back in December (after an HfP article btw!), and this calculation seems to be paying off. Booked as BA holidays package, I even managed to shave off £130 and get better flights last months. Now they added LCY flights with even better times, but not sure they will allow me to rebook again and the prices will probably be skyrocketing now…

  • Scott says:

    “Low risk countries like the US” 😂😂😂 Sean Doyle is presumably a satirist in his spare time.

    Covid19 is a hellish illness and we are storing up trouble by opening borders to international travel again – until the whole population is vaccinated, and whole population coverage is achieved around the world, there will always be a high risk of having to reinstate lockdowns with international movements. PCR tests are highly limited in their sensitivity (ie false negatives are relatively common) and lateral flows are almost useless given very very high false negative rate. And it fundamentally relies upon a proper swab being taken, which isn’t a given when the patient is essentially paying for a negative result to get what they want. We need to be more like Australia and New Zealand and pursue a “zero covid” strategy rather than “however much we can accommodate in a hospital”, and whatever the unpublished acceptable death / disability rate is.

    Please think carefully about what you’ll tell friends and colleagues about your travels if / when the next lockdown starts….

    (I’m a long term GCH and love travelling for work and leisure – but it simply isn’t justifiable or safe at the moment)

    • Eric the Half a Bee says:

      Today’s Yellow Mattress award winner!

    • Chris says:

      Scott, as a gold card holder you’ll have previously flown enough miles to have taken more risk of death from a plane crash than the risk of dying from Covid, unless you’re old and decided against vaccination.

    • John says:

      The climate emergency far outweighs the risks of Covid-19 and that didn’t bother you one bit when you were out there destroying the world and especially targeting vulnerable BAME groups. The biggest victims of the climate emergency.

    • James says:

      There are 65% of the UK population who are similar bedwetters/ yellow mattress.

      They don’t seem to care about personal freedom.

      Me – last week I came out to our place abroad in the sunny sun to test my eyesight/ make it covid secure/ buy another couple of apartments

    • James says:

      It’s completely political. When you are trouncing the opposition, why would you risk changing things when people think you have had a good war?

      Boris is (at heart) one of the biggest advocates for personal freedom in UK Parliament – but he has gone for deceit/ popularity/ boosterism/ more lies/ getting reelected etc

      Plus all the other stuff such as staycation = money on hols stays in UK

    • James says:

      Plus this morning – purely on principle – I went for a 2 mile walk at 5am (so that nobody would report me/ and I wouldn’t actually speak to anybody either):

      – for my health
      – who are they to tell me to quarantine?
      – I had my second Pfizer vacc in March so I’m good

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