Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

  • Simon Cross says:

    Having been watching all potential destinations for several months I booked holidays to both Iceland and Israel earlier this year for July and September respectively plus 2 UK based trips and Guernsey / Sark. Everything fully refundable if needs be.

    Bizarely it is the “local” trips which are more at risk than the overseas ones….

    Guernsey / Sark has already been deferred once (because the hotel cannot open as it cannot get its normal staff due to Brexit) and one of the UK trips is still at risk as the archaelogical sites (in Orkney) may not be open.

    I recall that the Chinese have a saying “may you live in interesting times” – well we certainly do.

    • Char Char says:

      Don’t know about it being interesting, completely stupid I would say when you have Grant Shapps saying people are cheering themselves after having their vaccine….

    • Brian P says:

      “Guernsey / Sark has already been deferred once (because the hotel cannot open as it cannot get its normal staff due to Brexit) ”

      Guernsey never had free movement of people with the UK let alone the EU, so I’m not sue I fully understand this statement.

      • Memesweeper says:

        It’s always had free movement hasn’t it? What it doesn’t have a housing market that is attractive to most folks not born there.

        • John says:

          No, British citizens without a connection to Guernsey can only visit for 90 days every 12 months, and need approval to stay longer, work or own certain properties. The same is true for other citizens too but they need additional approval from the UK.

          There is no immigration control between Guernsey and the UK, but that is not the definition of free movement (when the UK was in the EU we had free movement with the EU as we didn’t need to apply for permission to move or work in an EU country, only register after arriving. Despite having free movement there were still immigration controls).

          • Jonny O says:

            Guernsey has strict quarantine requirement for all arriving passengers. And it is VERY strictly enforced, meaning the authorities WILL come to your door to check on you. This makes Guernsey impractical for holidays at present.

  • AbuCordoba says:

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Im a British national currently in Oman with my wife and 2 small kids, we need to be back in the UK by the end of May, I had booked to go via Bodrum,Turkey and do 10 days there and then do further 10 days at home in the UK Isolation, however that’s no longer possible. Anyone in a similar predicament as I cannot use Qatar and Emirates and most European Countries are not open to me as I am in Oman.
    The hotel quarantine in the UK with two little kids is a no-go for us so any help would be really appreciated.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Have not looked into it in detail, but the overall concept is to target 10 days in an Amber country that will allow entry from Oman – so if Turkey is out you may have so look far afield – perhaps something such as mexico. Muscat > Cancun sounds like a nice 10 days! But any stopovers will have to be permitted, e.g. Frankfurt.. Do they allow transit from oman if heading out again? I do not know.

      • AbuCordoba says:

        Cancun does sound amazing! just getting there is not easy! I think from what I have read Greece and possibly Cyprus if they change the rules in the next few days and allow Oman to enter could be the best bet! (obviously hoping Portugal announce soon if we can come as that really would be the no.1 option). If all else fails I think we will do Bahrain

        • Tom says:

          I would be careful with Bahrain given the large spike in cases they are seeing at the moment. I wouldn’t be shocked if it slips onto the red list too.

    • blenz101 says:

      You should be able to make Egypt work, it remains amber so you should be able to swap Turkey out. Direct flights are still operating between Oman and Egypt and they are allowing UK passport holder in.

      Could all change between now and booking. The same issue with Turkey, UAE, and Maldives exists with Indians citizens using it as a route out of the country.

      • AbuCordoba says:

        My concern with Egypt is apparently the numbers are shooting up and they from people who have been do not take Covid seriously enough (ie no social distancing and many people not wearing masks) so for us that doesn’t work!

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Is the hotel quarantine really not an option? The others sound like a massive pain in all honesty.

      • Rob says:

        It can’t be that hard to find a Green or Amber country to let you in, surely?

      • Blenz101 says:

        No direct flights anyway so going to need to change. May as well do that somewhere pleasant. The original choice of Bodrum makes me think this was the plan vs. waiting it out in Istanbul.

        Minimum £2400 to stay in Hounslow guarded by G4S and not allowed out. Looks pretty easy to get a 5* all inclusive in Sharm El Sheikh for 10 nights for well under £1k less where the family would enjoy relative freedom.

        Only issue is if Egypt (or anywhere else the poster chooses to wait) moves to red list during the quarantine period you are back to the start.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          As the next review is in 3 weeks unless there is an immediate issue with a significant outbreak I suspect it would be safe.

      • AbuCordoba says:

        With 2 little kids it really is our very last resort again from accounts of people who have gone through it, its less than ideal as the rooms often given are standard rooms and so space is really limited for 11 days.

    • kitten says:

      wasnt someone today mentioning bulgaria or croatia to spend 10 (make it 12) days on the way back? guessing LH via FRA if no direct.

    • GeorgeJ says:

      AbuCordoba, I dont think you should rule out transit in Istanbul, Doha or Dubai, it only costs an extra red day and may give a better choice of destinations than Muscat (since the ten days in an Amber destination start when you get there). As you say most of Europe is out but try non EU such as Belgrade or other North Africa (Marrakesh, Tunisian resorts) if you find Cairo unappealing.
      Personally I would also look at Ukraine (Kiew) but I know that wouldn’t appeal to all!

      • AbuCordoba says:

        Yep we will fly via Doha to Greece as the most likely and then do our 10 days or if we go to Portugal we will have to fly Emirates to Lisbon from what I can tell that’s our best options! Kiev is interesting never been and not sure what to expect from it! North Africa is a good shout but according to some reports they are still not letting foreigners in!

        • Alex M says:

          You’ll love Kiev – great food, cases falling, on the way to UK (unlike Mexico) hopefully the weather is good now… Any questions – let me know.

  • kitten says:

    Hey Rhys / Rob

    I like you changed the colour of the text itself to green / amber / red on the list early in the article above.

    Would you consider changing the text colour of each heading (title line) of the sections below accordingly, too?

    • Rob says:

      For boring tech reasons (heading style setting are fixed) we can’t do that, oddly. I think.

  • Henry Young says:

    Australia may be green listed, but my reading of the rules concludes that if you flew Qatar, that would red list you even for a 1 hour transit at Doha. So be careful about your routing. Whether the red listing of Qatar is more of a political / commercial move, we can debate another day 😉

    • Blenz101 says:

      Your reading is of course correct of course for any inbound travel to the UK, you pick up the status of the highest country you have passed through via any transport method.

      The transport secretary is on record about the ME3’s red list clarification is driven by their status as a global travel hub and not by any science/data on the ground.

      • Andrew says:

        Singapore Airlines would be your best (only?) option to fly from Australia to the U.K. and be a green country arrival.

        • Louie says:

          Or non-stop Qantas from Darwin. Doesn’t sound like much fun though.

          • Wally1976 says:

            Could be wrong but I thought the direct Qantas flight was from Perth?

  • Henry Young says:

    Currently in Philippines (red listed) planning to visit UK in June. Not wanting to serve 10 days detention in solitary confinement, secured by one of UK’s private prison operators (G4S), paying £1750 for the privilege, I plan to first stop off in Belgrade (amber) for 10 days. Airbnb apartments are going for £20 per night. Strikes me as a far better use of my money !

    • kitten says:

      Beware I think you have to do something like 12 to be sure not 10, something to do with how they count the days. Don’t skimp it.

      • Pablo says:

        Hypothetical question. Could a dual passport holder travelling from a red country to the UK via an amber country stay just a couple of days in an amber country if they used their non-UK passport for the first leg and their uk passport for the final leg to the UK as long as the flights were separate bookings? Would Border Force find out?

        • Blenz101 says:

          You have to complete a passenger locator form listing your travel history.

          Wouldn’t suggest lying on this.

          Who knows what gaps the switching of passports will create in the API border force will be looking at.

          Getting caught would be a disaster and will get little sympathy.

          • Track says:

            He must’ve been an beacon of leadership to his staff. Daily Mail says:

            The MoS understands that a whistleblower in either the UAE or Switzerland contacted a British Embassy after hearing Mr Hogan boast about his travel arrangements.

            Foreign Office officials are believed to have passed the intelligence on to the Border Force, which launched a probe.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I doubt Pablo is a well known exCEO who will have as whistleblower.

        • James says:

          Pablo – Pablo, Pablo – of course it would work but not recommended

          • Yuff says:

            Lol……I should not think they needed a whistle blower to catch the CEO out just ask him where the stamp was in his British passport for entering Switzerland. One of the benefits of Brexit the passports are stamped in a lot more countries with direct flights to the UK.

  • Arran says:

    Wonder what happened to that special relationship? USA is on par with us for vaccine rates and constantly hearing “we are talking to the US government” but nothing to show for it

    • Harry T says:

      USA still has many cases and they aren’t open to us. I’m sure the obstacles are mostly political, though, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a travel corridor opens up by June/July.

    • TimM says:

      Unfortunately the take up rate for vaccinations is falling off in the US due to the prevalence of ‘vaccine hesitancy’. Fauci has said Biden’s 70% 4th July target may never be met. I can see the UK government starting to divide the US by state for their ‘traffic light’ scheme.

  • Karen says:

    Hi – can someone tell me if you can use the NHS free Lateral Flow tests you can pick up at pharmacies as testing to return to the UK or do you need to use a private provider? Thanks

    • Tracey says:

      At the moment you can’t use the NHS tests, but there is talk about that being allowed in the future.

      • James says:

        Grunt said (previously, not the most recent PR event) that you/ we can use the free NHS LF tests for the first test coming back to UK from abroad.

        So worth getting a few in, just in case that’s true.

        • TimM says:

          Logically, it should be a free LF test shortly after return and if that looks positive a free PCR test, a few days later, as it is mostly for data collection purposes, genomic sequencing etc.. and all of this in self-isolation. If you were actually ill you would be getting medical attention regardless of any test results.

        • Karen Chater says:

          Thanks James and all. It’s just not clear on that it needs to be a private provider. It’s clear the PCR tests must be private providers. I’ll get a few in just in case!

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Support your local community pharmacy at the same time

  • Henry Young says:

    I wonder how much Qatar will end up paying for its green listing. Of course we’ll never know. But with the FIFA World Cup coming up in 2022 …..

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.