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Travel list changes announced – seven countries go Green, two go Red

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A day later than planned, and surprisingly not tweeted in advance by Grant Shapps, the Government has updated its travel corridor lists.

Nine countries have moved from the Amber list. Seven have moved to Green and two have moved to Red, requiring hotel quarantine.

Here are the changes:

Green and Amber travel list changes unveiled

Good news (if you are not vaccinated):

  • Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Switzerland, and the Azores will be added to the Green list from 4am on 30 August

Bad news:

  • Thailand and Montenegro will be added to the Red list from 4am on 30th August

It is important to remember that just because a country is on the Green or Amber list, it does not mean that England residents are allowed to enter. You should check the entry requirements on gov.uk.

With Amber being the same as Green for fully vaccinated travellers, the set of seven countries moving to Green has minimal impact for most people.

In a statement, Sean Doyle, British Airways CEO said:

“Despite our world-leading vaccination programme the UK’s economic recovery remains far behind our more pragmatic European neighbours, which are already reaping the rewards of a rapid recovery. 

It cannot be right that although 77% of us have been fully vaccinated we have a much more costly, prohibitive and restrictive testing regime than everyone else, when data suggests just four out of every 1,000 travellers tests positive for Coronavirus on their return to the UK, less than the overall rate at home. These stats strongly suggest PCR tests should only be needed following a positive lateral flow test.

We also need to urgently end the uncertainty caused by the constant threat of changes to countries’ traffic light status. Our ‘green’ list is much smaller than that of the US and EU, despite no new variants being transported into the UK.”

Finland added to Green List

Current testing requirements

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 find out more about the list changes on gov.uk here.

Comments (56)

  • Swifty says:

    Just so long as the MPs get their holibibs huh, they dont even need to follow rules, shame for us fiscally challenged great unwashed.

  • Tazzy says:

    When is the next review due? Trying to plan something in the interim!

  • Yorkieflyer says:

    MAG appealing their case against the traffic lights

  • Rim says:

    The beauty of having 2 passports..

  • Papa says:

    The world has gone mad. On my recent return to the UK it would have been easily possible to get back from a Red country via an Amber country.

    Upon arrival UK passport holders were placed in the queue for the egates and passports were read electronically. No document checks at all. Nobody to check my passenger locator or PCR or that I’d booked a day 2 test.

    Obviously upon check-in I was asked for a passenger locator, my PCR test and then I was asked to show my booking for PCR tests for day 2 and 8. I explained that I was vaccinated and showed the certificate and that I only needed day 2. This was unbeknown to them, imagine how can the airlines cope with such horrifically complicated rules?

    Red countries can be circumnavigated. Although if someone would rather pay £2300 than spend 10 days (or less) in an Amber country then that is their choice. For dual passport holders such as myself it would be even easier. Imagine if you could hand over your other passport without the stamps from a red country. Nobody would ever know… I haven’t done this although it was tempting as I almost managed to get caught out on my last trip almost with Georgia going red. So, I lost money having to change plans at the last minute.

    The government need to get a grip. Simplify it and I don’t think PCRs on day 2 and 8 are necessary. I was pinged on day 2, must have been someone from the plane so a day after receiving my paid for negative PCR result I took an NHS one which was also negative.

    The whole thing is absurd really!

    • Luca says:

      I have done this several times now. On your PLF you need to enter the Passport number and details such as vaccination and booking for a day 2 test as well as details of any country visited in the last 10 days (it is a criminal offence to lie on those forms). When you go through the e-gate or the custom official boot, your passport is scanned and cross checked against the PLF. in case there is no record of a PLF against that passport, you would not be allowed in. In addition, the airlines have been tasked with checking those document at departure as part of the negotiation to resume travelling. I have seen BA leaving people behind on my last two trips.
      Having said that, I know of people that have decided to avoid the hotel quarantine and better spent their money elsewhere, travelling from an UK red country first into a green or amber country which allowed such travel, spend 10 days there holidaying, and then taking a flight into the UK

  • Danny says:

    Does anyone have any knowledge of when the UK will start to recognise approved vaccines received outside UK/US/EU?

    • Louie says:

      According to the vaccines minister, by the end of July if you are a UK national with a UK GP – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/26/covid-quarantine-for-britons-vaccinated-abroad-to-be-dropped. Oh wait a minute…..

      Again assuming you are a Brit, there are rumours on FT that an NHS vaccine resolution centre has been set up which will be dealing with this. You have to ring 119, the message gets passed on and they call you back. Only no-one has as yet been called back.

    • Harry T says:

      Do you mean Sputnik or the Chinese ones that don’t work?

      • J says:

        Sputnik (and AZ) are both very effective but have been undermined for different political reasons.

        • Harry T says:

          Oh yeah, Sputnik actually looks like it may be decent. Chinese vaccines don’t seem to work in practice but the CCP won’t release the data.

          • Ls says:

            It was given to the WHO to get their approval, who released it. Sinopharm is more efficacious than Astra Zeneca. Sinovac is less good.

      • Ls says:

        Sputnik is as good as AZ, and better than J&J. At least one of the Chinese vaccines is good.

        • J says:

          Don’t expect our American friends to recognise AZ any time soon though!

      • Danny says:

        No, I mean Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and J&J when they’re put into your arm outside the UK/US/EU.

  • Kai says:

    Are there any concessions announced for people who have been double jabbed if they return from an Amber country?

    I reckon there were some talks that such people will be spared the quarantine if it has been more than 14 days since their second jab.

    • Luca says:

      yes, the rules from early august is that if you are double jab and return from an Amber list country you do not need to quarantine but only need to take a Day 2 test

  • Paul says:

    My wife and I are in Greece and have been to Athens Naxos and Santorini. No test to come here just need vaccination and complete PLF. form checked on arrival and we were directed to EU queues for passport control. All civilised and efficient. Flying to Naxos need just the Greek plf but most people had EU vaccine passport. Ship to Santorini needed extra health questionnaire but beyond that checks were minimal but masks mandatory.
    Using verify to go home and it’s been relatively easy but you cannot submit the U.K. PLF before 48 hours. The Greek system allowed for multiple edits and was altogether more straightforward.
    The ease of access will explain why there are so many EU nationals here, hotels are full, restaurants packed and prices high. Lots of young people looking very glam and lots of Italians who simply drip style and never appear to sweat!
    5 cruise ships in 3 days in Santorini
    However good the U.K. vaccine rollout was the EU has more than caught up. They are very mask conscious but people are on the move and having fun. The need for paid testing is now ridiculous. There is more than enough capacity now! Here in Greece it’s free!

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