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Portugal removed from the UK Green List – no countries added

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The Government has just given it first update to U.K. travel Green List.

After a lot of speculation in the media it looks like the Green List won’t be changing much – with one massive exception. Portugal will be demoted to the Amber, which will strike a blow to many people’s holiday plans.

Seven countries are being added to the Red list. Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Trinidad & Tobago have all been added today.

Back to Boris Bingo, baby

The change means we are back to the rigmarole of last summer – when countries were added and removed to travel corridors at very short notice. The government promised that it would be more consistent this year, which is why it set up the ‘Green watch list’. It looks like it is scrapping that plan, however.

Whilst the Government says it is ‘following the science’ it is not clear why destinations such as the Caribbean have been snubbed, despite many countries reporting extremely low case loads.

Half of all UK adults have had both vaccinations with 75% having received their first. It appears that the Government is trying its best to disincentivise travel as much as possible, whilst still claiming that you can travel. The big casualty will be the travel industry.

Portugal was pretty much the only country on the Green List welcoming UK travellers. Removing it from the Green List will put a spanner in a lot of holiday plans.

Anyone returning from Portugal from 8th June will now have to quarantine for 10 days or pay for additional testing to release early.

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.

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

11 countries and a number of territories are on the Green List. The next update will be in three week’s time on the 24th June.

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 – and it’s not clear whether this will be kept now that Portugal has dropped straight from Green to Amber.

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
  • 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.

You should be able to access your vaccination status on the NHS app.

UK green list red list

Which countries are on the Red List?

Here are the countries on the Red List. Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Trinidad & Tobago have all been added today. Anyone returning from these countries will be required to undertake 10 days of hotel quarantine.

  • Afghanistan
  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • 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
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • 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


The travel industry has been unanimous in condeming the announcement. British Airways said:

“This is incredibly disappointing and confusing news, not just for aviation but also for our customers. The UK has reached a critical point and urgently needs travel with low-risk countries, like the US, to re-start the economy, support devastated industries and reunite loved ones.

With high levels of vaccinations in the UK being matched by other countries, we should see the UK Government adding destinations to ‘green’ as soon as possible – not turning its back on a traffic light model which we were led to believe was based firmly on scientific data.”

Whilst Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic said:

“UK Government’s risk-based traffic light framework won’t provide the clarity and certainty that consumers, families and businesses need if it does not follow the data. Its own evidence shows the US and Caribbean are low risk and should be added to the ‘green list’ now. We are yet to see clear and transparent guidance on the methodology and data the Government is basing these decisions on. It shouldn’t be a state secret.

“This overly cautious approach is failing to reap dividends from the UK’s successful vaccination programme, preventing passengers from booking with confidence and restricting £23 million in economic value each day with our largest trading partner. We urge UK Government to expedite talks with the Biden administration to lead the way in opening the skies ahead of G7 next week. There is no reason to delay, given that economic recovery and 500,000 jobs are at stake.”

Comments (198)

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

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Who’s fault is it this time? 😉

    • Blenz101 says:

      SAGE. They should not be constantly on the media briefing ever increasing caution against the unknown. Zero evidence exists that current vaccines are not effective.

      Zero counter argument is ever given to their warnings.

      Ministers should be the ones on TV explaining the policy and being held to account for the damage being caused.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        No it is always a HfPers fault, we just need to know who booked Portugal in the last week?

        (its a joke)

        • Blenz101 says:

          I did get it. But I still wanted my rant 😉

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            My turn! I want a cup of tea and a chocolate digestive. However my work is a 5 minute walk to a Waitrose and I’m going home in an hour. Why oh why. Also since Covid took away our normal milk the little UHT milk things are driving me nuts, bring back the recyclable cartons! Veva la Revolution!

        • r* says:

          Probably half of hfp was off to SS DV in the next couple of months 🙂

      • Tariq says:

        I don’t call those f!!!wits ‘bedwetters’ for nothing. The only ‘risk’ in this entire pandemic-amonium, it’s to some a!!eholes’ political careers if the saintly NHS falls to bits.

      • Callum says:

        Probably because there isn’t a valid counterargument. Other than the standard HfP “but I don’t care – if people don’t wanna get sick they can just become permanent hermits”. Which obviously isn’t going to be made by a mainstream media organisation.

    • Char Char says:

      It’s the anonymous advisors, who are going to be looking at cases rather than actual sick people or deaths of, not with Covid.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Nope I blame the last HfPer to book a holiday there

      • Callum says:

        I see the old “we’ve had enough with experts” attitude is still going strong! I think it’s blindingly obvious that you’re talking absolute rubbish.

    • bafan says:

      I finally booked yesterday. Apologies 😔✌🏻.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Oh bafan, I thought we were friends. You’re going to have a very long list of people to buy a drink for 😉

      • DT says:

        Glad it’s not my fault, we booked three days ago. Ready to jump on the pitchfork bandwagon and lay the blame on bafan 🙂

    • Laura says:

      Probably mine! Trying to get a group of friends together and suggested Portugal. Sorry!

      We are a fully vaccinated Brit resident in England, a fully vaccinated American, a partially vaccinated Belgian in Scotland, and an unvaccinated Spaniard in Belgium.

      Looking like another year that we can’t get together 🙁

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        You haven’t booked yet, you are forgiven!

    • MD says:

      Without a doubt, I blame Harry T! 🙂

      • mr_jetlag says:

        Nope, ’twas me – used my TAP voucher for a nice week in Porto in August.

      • Harry T says:

        Haven’t booked any flights to Portugal! 😊

        • patrick C says:

          Given that the indian variant is really in tje UK and not in Portugal, SAGE has nothing to do with science anymore…
          The reality is they don’t want to admit that they were weeks late to make India a red country…

  • Rob says:

    Prison Island

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      So over dramatic, you can leave but you can’t come back very easily / cheaply

      • Char Char says:

        So Prison island for the poor!

        • bafan says:


        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          No not really.

          The difficult but cheap option: You can go on holiday wherever you want, then find a cheap hotel in a green list country that will let you in. Wait it out for however long you need to

          Expensive but easy option: Pay for all the tests or hotel quarantine needed. Sorted

          • Char Char says:

            It is not cheap when all green list countries are expensive.

          • Track says:

            Forced hotel quarantine is not an easy option.

      • meta says:

        Some of us are stuck due to employers not allowing travel to amber countries or requiring you to take 10 days annual leave if returning from amber countries.

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          Then have 2 holidays in one and go wherever you want first, then go to a green list country on the cheap

          • meta says:

            Only Iceland is on the green list, but it isn’t exactly cheap… In any case, it will all probably change ten times over the course of summer.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            @meta then book Cornwall, still very good deals available at Derry Cross Premier Inn in Plymouth. An excellent base for all of Cornwall and Devon in all weather

          • meta says:

            Don’t fancy chancing the weather. We’ll be in Bath in two weeks time and have had wonderful time in Scotland in May, but now we need to visit our families (haven’t seen them since August 2019) and also have a holiday with guaranteed sunshine. I’m going alone, I can isolate, but my partner is stuck.

            But look at the illogic of it all. I’m going to amber country, my partner is not. We’ll be in the same house, sleep in the same bed after I come back and isolate for 10 days. All that time, my partner will go to work every day, using public transport, going to drinks with co-workers,…

          • Save East Coast Rewards says:

            Easier said than done. I’m coming from the other direction as I’m currently staying in Italy. I’m popping back to the UK for a bit in July and thought it would be a good idea to add a holiday to Portugal to the beginning of the trip. Of course Portugal may be back green by then, or Italy might be green but for those who need to plan ahead it’s not just a case of adding on some time in a green zone as that can change

          • meta says:

            We’ve now worked it out in case Portugal is still on amber list in August. We’ll just scrap the bank holiday weekend in Portugal, come back on Thursday. My partner will do Test to Release on Tuesday (can you get results the same day?) and be back in office Wed/Thu, so that’s only 2-3 days extra of holidays and luckily within limits, but at least we’ll get a solid week. SS DV is still on!

  • Char Char says:

    This is becoming running joke!

    • Blenz101 says:

      More people die on the roads per day in the U.K. Vehicles next to go on a red list and only to be used again once 100% safe.

      • James says:

        Sorry. More people have died in road accidents in the past year as covid?

        • Blenz101 says:

          No. Current death rate. With pubs and shops open and people gathering as they want regardless of any rule of X.

          Vulnerable have been vaccinated already. Time for people to take some personal responsibility.

          • Callum says:

            I don’t think anyone who thinks that’s a remotely logical comparison to be making has any business giving their opinion on this…

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Char Char I agree it’s certainly a running joke lol
      Starts on here every time there’s any news realised page after page of moaning and rants and carries on for days..
      I Think HFPs must think if they rant or moan things will change lol
      reading the posts keeps me amused though

  • Navara says:

    Summer is here enjoy being in this fantastic country, save your points /cash and escape for the winter.

    • Blenz101 says:

      What will be different in winter? Those at risk have already been at least offered a vaccine. Case numbers no longer = risk.

      We don’t speculatively test for flu.

    • John T says:

      You think things are going to be better in winter? LOL.

      • Lord Doncaster says:

        Probably not better – Waitrose will have their free coffee machines working by then probably so the riff raff will be tempted back in store.

  • Jan M says:

    Ugh. A holiday to Portugal was going to be my way back into the UK after my foreign posting.

  • Joe says:

    Utterly ludicrous.

  • nick says:

    So has the Portuguese Government sacrificed its tourist injury by allowing football fans in for 24 hours last weekend? I suspect they may make quite a few countries green next time round. Hope so anyway as there will be some major tourism casualties soon. The holiday hokey cokey is not sustainable.

  • Niall says:

    What time on Tuesday do the changes take effect from, please?

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

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