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GREEN, AMBER AND RED LISTS UPDATED: Government announces changes from 19th July

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The Government has just announced a new set of changes to the traffic light travel system.

From Monday 19th July at 4am, the following countries and territories will be added to the Green list:

  • Hong Kong
  • Bulgaria

In addition, the following will be placed on the Green watchlist. This means that they are treated as Green list but you should be aware that they could switch to Amber at short notice:

  • Croatia
  • Taiwan

We summarise the Green List rules below.

Red List and Green List changes

The following move from the Green watchlist to the Amber list from 4am on 19th July:

  • Balearic Islands
  • British Virgin Islands

For the double vaccinated, this has no impact. It does impact anyone who has not been double vaccinated 14 days prior to their return to England.

From 4am on 19th July, the following will be added to the Red List:

  • Cuba
  • Indonesia
  • Myanmar
  • Sierra Leone

This applies only to England. Different rules may apply to those who live in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

These are the testing and quarantine requirements currently in place:

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.  Returnees who are double vaccinated at least 14 days before they return from an Amber country, plus any accompanying children under 18, are treated as if returning from a Green country.

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.

You can see the full list of countries on the Green, Amber and Red lists on this page of

Comments (100)

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

  • bafan says:

    Did they really need to bring it forwards a day early? I was expecting something very unexpected to change the timings.

    • James says:

      Give people more time to prepare for changes to their plans.

      • YC says:

        I think the effective date is also brought forward. So this may have messed up lots of finely curated plans. But in fairness, I think this aligns changes with the double vaccinated/amber effective date to minimise confusion

  • HH says:

    There’s no justification for our list red list anymore. We’ve rolled out effective vaccines against all known variants, and the scale of delta variant community transmission within UK today makes the burden of imported cases on our health system negligible.

    • bafan says:

      They are still hiring on GOV.UK for managed quarantine roles aka it’s going nowhere so.

      • HH says:

        Unbelievable. Not only does it undermine confidence in testing/vaccines, the real risk (a new variant that evades our vaccines) could come from *any* country.

  • Gabriel says:

    For the double vaccinated by the NHS*

    The unlucky ones like me with EU vaccination certificates will have to still self isolate…

    • JanM says:

      Yup. Me too. I’m now regretting getting vaccinated in Europe. Or perhaps I should just get two more shots when I get back to the UK… (Ludicrous!)

      • roberto says:

        You should

      • Tracey says:

        That isn’t such a stupid idea. The original trials of Pfizer gave undiluted vaccine, so 5 times the strength of the vaccine currently used, to no ill effects. They are already talking about booster jabs. I’m not medically qualified, though I have completed the covid vaccine training courses. Other than the immediate side effects of the vaccine, I can’t see a downside.

  • ChrisW says:

    I mean for most Brits now, the amber list doesn’t really matter from 19 July. It’s only the red list that is to worry about.

    • Magic Mike says:

      How about the FCDO advice? Does it still advise against all but essential travel to most Amber countries?

  • TGLoyalty says:

    “Returnees who are double vaccinated at least 14 days before they return from an Amber country, plus any accompanying children under 18, are treated as if returning from a Green country.”

    All under 18’s regardless of the vaccinated status of any over 18’s they are travelling with.

  • roberto says:

    Hong Kong must be just trolling?
    You can’t get into hk from the uk with out a 21 day quarantine?

    • James says:

      Try getting into Aus/NZ

    • Chris says:

      The travel is going the other way anyway. NYTimes had an article that said 30K + hong kongers have emigrated to the UK so far this year yesterday.

    • marcw says:

      Have you seen BAs queues at check-in desks in Hong Kong? I’d recommend following some journalists…

  • BJ says:

    Disappointing, grin and bear it or no holiday for me yet, decisions, decisions.

    HfP on holiday tomorrow? Three extra articles today already, has that happened before? I can recall two often enough but not sure about three.

    • Russ says:

      I’ve booked both the Middle East and the Canaries over Christmas, hopefully one will be doable. If not I may just book a couple of return F seats on Emirates with points to SIN and just go for the ride. Wash, rinse and repeat with Tokyo. By December I won’t care about not getting in 🙂

    • Rob says:

      We’ll do one at least (Green list stuff is never emailed as old news by then)

  • Andrew says:

    Rhys and his Marriott publicity tour strikes again!

    • ankomonkey says:

      I’ll take one for the team and volunteer to take his next few trips to break the jinx..

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

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