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.

  • Tom says:

    Is it risky to fly to Portugal via Munich on Lufthansa? From what I can see online you can transit on a flight from the UK…any advice would be welcome.

  • TimM says:

    There was an interesting session with Simon Calder on the new Travel.Radio Q&A programme this morning. He says that if you are planning on going to Portugal (or another ‘green-lit’ territory) for the weekend, you can have your pre-arrival to the UK Covid test, the cheapest medically certified will do, before you leave the UK! It is the law.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes it’s been the law ever since they introduced pre flight testing.

      • James says:

        What’s the point of testing for Covid-19 when the whole country (UK) reaches safety levels?

        There are NO dangerous variants, ie all variants are well-controlled by existing vaccines.

        We already hit basic herd immunity in UK and when the under 40s get their vaccines – which they look happy to get – herd immunity will go up from 70-80% to 90%+.

        Only foolish anti-vaxxers need worry.

        Please understand: no variant of concern is actually of concern: it’s an exaggeration to get people to accept vaccination & stifle travel.

        Bed-wetters / yellow mattress people probably also get bad dreams about somebody asking them to justify their Covid-19 position/ logic/ intelligence – the can’t do that, it’s another bed wetting episode.

        ‘I’m just scared something bad will happen’.

        • pauldb says:

          Your paragraph about herd immunity strongly implies you don’t understand herd immunity. What is “basic herd immunity”?

          • James says:

            Lower herd immunity. 60-70%? Who knows?

            Doesn’t really matter – basic herd immunity just means most people are safe.

            Obviously herd immunity is not an absolute % number eg 75%. Look at Measles.

            As more people get immunised/ already got Covid-19 – their safety increases. So 1 week 60% herd immunity, a month later 70% etc.

          • pauldb says:

            “basic herd immunity just means most people are safe”. I think reading a basic explanation of herd immunity would help you out here.

          • James says:

            I am happy to be corrected in my English by a scientist if I have goofed up in what I tried to say.

            Of course I understand herd immunity. UK has herd immunity for Measles. Which doesn’t mean people don’t get Measles.

        • Nadeshka says:

          I think you’re confusing the percentage of the population vaccinated with the percentage of adults. 35m have had at least one dose out of 66m people (just over 50%). That one dose is not 100% effective. Only 17m have had two doses, and again that’s not 100% effective.
          About 20% of the population are children who aren’t eligible to get vaccinated. We’re not going to get to 90% immunity through vaccinations alone.
          It’s hard to calculate what % have immunity through having the actual virus, and we can’t be sure the overlap of the two groups.
          So no idea what you mean by basic herd immunity, but by any definition of herd immunity we are not there yet and won’t be for some time.

          • Nadeshka says:

            Basic maths from govt stats says
            Normal R rate of covid = 3
            R rate of Kent strain = 5 (60% more infectious, now dominant in uk)
            Immunity needed to have herd immunity is therefore >80% (out of the 5 you normally would have infected, at least 4 are immune so outbreak dies down)

            Given 20% population is children who can’t get vaccinated + those who refuse + those whom it’s not effective against infection (depending on vaccine and study 1%-30%) we are not and will likely not get to herd immunity without kids being vaccinated or it running rampant through schools so they get ‘natural’ immunity.

          • James says:

            Sure – but reduce your analysis to 1. hospitalizations & 2. deaths.

            Neither of which will be troubling going forward.

            Long Covid? – OK you got a point (not that you mentioned it.)

          • TGLoyalty says:

            As long as the at risk have had the vaccine and hospitalisations are well down this should never rule life again.

            We don’t need 80% of the U.K. to be vaccinated!

        • Char Char says:

          You quote herd immunity then mention “Only foolish anti-vaxxers need worry.” isn’t the point of herd immunity meaning those who haven’t had the disease/vaccine are also safer…

          • James says:

            Safer but not 100% safe.

            Herd immunity never meant nobody gets the disease. It just means that those already immunised/ who got antibodies already are safe and the other (say) 15% are more unlikely to get the disease because there’s a lot less of the disease around.

            So anti vaxxers are as prone to getting the disease as they always were, just that there are fewer people infected to give it to them. So less likely to get it, despite their stupid/ selfish stance.

          • pauldb says:

            Meanwhile on the road to Damascus…

          • James says:

            my only damascene conversion would be giving up alcohol

            which ain’t going to happen any time soon

  • pauldb says:

    79 measles cases last year.

    • James says:

      Sure – and Covid-19 will come down in numbers very fast as well.

      Both are killers (at worst) – yet should not over-worry people once we get basic herd immunity (vaccinations & exposure).

      Plus over time, most viruses become less deadly.

      Why are people not trying to get zero flu deaths (UK 20,000 deaths a year in a bad year) when they seem to think zero Covid-19 deaths is worth pursuing?

      We should be happy to see 10,000 Covid-19 deaths a year, which would be maybe 50-odd deaths a day in winter – these old people will die of something so it might as well be Covid-19.

      • pauldb says:

        Herd immunity is not a measure of how much of the population has immunity through prior infection or vaccination. It is not a subjective measure of how many people need to be safe in order to go back to normal life, or how many deaths are therefore acceptable. That’s a political threshold – don’t try a stick a scientific title on it.

        Here you are then since you can’t by bothered to google: herd immunity is the point at which the opposite group – those who don’t have immunity – are largely safe because enough of the population don’t transmit the virus. When there is an outbreak, it naturally dies down because most of a case’s contacts are immune. The more naturally infectious a virus, the harder it is to reach herd immunity. For Covid and the Kent variant, it’s certainty requires more than 60-70% antibodies.

        • James says:

          Sure, I know that. But surely you are not trying to say that herd immunity kicks in at an exact % eg 72.5%?

          You are not basing your last point on scientific evidence [For Covid and the Kent variant, it’s certainty requires more than 60-70% antibodies.]

          You are just waving your finger in the air and guessing/ hoping you are right so you don’t look uninformed.

          It could easily be that at 70%, with a milder variant over time, coronavirus becomes no more troubling than the common cold for most of us.

          • pauldb says:

            Actually the first estimate I found for R0 was 3.9 so that would make the the threshold 74.4%.

            As to your last sentence, the impact of coronavirus on “most of us” has no relevance this to the crisis response – the impact on most of us has never been the danger.

          • James says:

            You are correct – but Boris didn’t play it that way – I’m pushing 60 and he/ they certainly got me worried though I guess the risks were minimal for a healthy person my age.

            But I think it is fair to see that 10 years shaved off your reasonable life expectancy – even if you were (say) 75 – is a poor outcome, if you were to get & die from Covid-19.

  • Ted says:

    My IQ just dropped 50% by reading some of the comments in this thread.

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.