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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)

  • bafan says:

    Glad I didn’t book Thailand now lol…also I was entertained by the angry responses on Twitter on Paul Charles’ Tweet about Turkey staying Red 🤣.

  • Ikaz says:

    There goes my trip to the Maldives… 9 nights at the Intercontinental on points and 7 at the Waldorf…

    • chris says:

      can you change your flights to go via Doha and wash the stay?

      • Pauline says:

        Please explain?

        • chris says:

          spend 11 nights in doha or Dubai rather than coming straight back to the uk

          • Ikaz says:

            I just started a new job so can’t take any extra time off unfortunately.
            Both hotels have gone up in points required too and are really hard to get on points, plus the Intercontinental had upgraded me in advance, which makes things even worst.
            I guess I need to find a place to spend my 4 IHG free night vouchers in a place where I get decent value now, which will be difficult

          • Chris says:

            Could you work from the hotel in the ME…

  • LewisB says:

    Just need Canada to confirm that Sept 7th re-opening date and I’m on the 12.00 WestJet straight to Calgary from Gatwick.

  • Mark J says:

    A lot of relief here on the beaches in Jamaica!

    The system just isn’t up to scratch, it needs urgent reform and adjustments – otherwise our travel industry is going to be damaged beyond repair.

    • Keely says:

      Mark how are things in Jamaica re mask wearing etc?

      • Mark J says:

        Very impressive (I’m a doctor).

        Entry really simple and antigen (lateral flow) to get in. The hotel we’re at is a standard 5* AI (Couples Tower Isle). It’s not going to win any HfP awards compared to luxury elsewhere but a nice relaxing break. Almost all the AI hotels provide the requisite antigen testing for free before you depart.

        Mask wearing enforced when walking indoors. All staff fully compliant, at all times (even outdoors). You’re restricted to the ‘resilient corridor’ but lots of tourist attractions are within it (masks mandatory most of the time on these).

        The standard buffet is served rather than self-serve. Hand gel everywhere. Staff insistent you use whenever entering a restaurant or new area.

        I’ve genuinely been impressed, and hope that the seriousness they’re taking their tourism side is what was reflected in the governments traffic light decisions (rates have been climbing here, but they’re now going hard lockdown outside the tourist areas and boosting vaccine rates (paltry 10% – but will be improved now U.K./US are donating lots of vaccine).

        • SammyJ says:

          Just back from a week at the Royalton White Sands (again not the best of the best, but a decent enough all-in), and I’d agree with most of that, except for the fact that, like many other places, the Covid protocols are a complete farce. Buffet serving might reduce that little bit of contact (with sanitised hands!) with a few spoons, but causes huge lines and loads of people all crammed together waiting to be served! And of course like everywhere else there were plenty of ‘because Covid’ excuses to reduce amenities and services. Great holiday anyway, just the same nonsense in a prettier place.

  • Iain miller says:

    I hate to be that guy, but “it does not mean that England residents are allowed to enter. ”

    Was it to hard to use UK?

    • Iain miller says:

      *Too

      • Ed says:

        I’m guessing that this is because this is the updated England traffic light system. So not by default applicable to those from the other parts of the Uk.

    • Rob says:

      It’s not U.K. These are England rules until and unless accepted by the other administrations.

      • SammyJ says:

        The Scottish and Welsh governments had both officially announced the same changes to their traffic lights yesterday evening before England had.
        Can’t think of any countries now that are distinguishing between the different nations in their entry restrictions.

  • Yorkieflyer says:

    I can’t see the point of booking anything non Europe while this traffic light bingo continues. Is there supposed to be a review in October?

  • Clive says:

    Don’t understand why they do not make an exception for Phuket as they did with some European Islands. Amazes me you can travel to India but not Thailand tbh

    • M says:

      This makes zero sense. No logic here.

    • DeB20 says:

      You can’t travel to India unless you have citizenship or residency rights. India still views the UK as the source of the original variant, so it applies 14 days quarantine for arriving passengers. Tourists are not allowed, tourist visas have been suspended for a long time now.

      The xenophobic comments relating to travel to India in this blog and other blogs is equalled by the Indian nationalist government and their views of the UK and its residents travelling there!

      • Mrs_Fussy says:

        DeB20 – you are correct that india is not allowing tourists but there is no quarantine, just a PCR test and you exit the airport

  • TGLoyalty says:

    What amazes me is that they continue with mandatory hotel quarantine for red list countries. Absolute madness.

    • BJ says:

      Not just the quarantine, the testing and everything else too. It’s all more trouble than it’s worth and likely doing more harm than good, all things considered. It should all have ended when the top nine priority groups were fully vaccinated and restrictions reassessed only if number of hospital admissions became unsustainable. I’m convinced the main motivation for this continued drama is merely to provide themselves with straws to clutch at that will then be milked for all they are worth once the enquiries start.

      • Blenz101 says:

        The general public are supportive of it and don’t fully understand that things like “the red list” are actually only impacting British citizens/IDLR holders returning home. Keep those foreign germ spreaders out is popular with your average man in the crowded pub.

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          Sad but true

        • Mike says:

          I definitely do not want someone coming in directly from a red list country and potentially infecting us all without having been in quarantine first on arrival- it is billy basics – quarantine before entry to the general population protects us all

          • Blenz101 says:

            Well I need to go back and see friends and family this weekend in the U.K. but coming in from an ambrr country (former red) I am much more concerned about catching Covid in the U.K. than I would be just about anywhere else in the world.

          • Alan says:

            These arbitrary and illogical rules are doing nothing to protect us.
            There is less chance of people coming in from a Red country having Covid than people you come across in the street. Most have lower rates than the UK and anyone travelling will have tested negative prior to travel.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            You are exactly the problem

            What do you mean infecting us all ? You realise Covid has been in the U.K. for 18 months and will always be here. Mutation have and do happen here ie The Kent variant.

          • patrick C says:

            Sad that after 2 years, people still believe that BS. I mean travelling to a red list country and wearing a mask tjere is substantial safter than going to a shop in London where people behave like covid doesn’t exist. The spreading comes from within and always has…

          • John says:

            It would if done properly, but it’s more likely that people get infected in quarantine and pass it on to the hotel staff (who then spread it around shops and transport)

          • Yuff says:

            The delta variant has negated the impact of quarantine hotels, just look at Australia and NZ soon to follow.
            The genie is out if the bottle, vaccinations have put it back in, it’s just a shame this country and the US is letting social media spread the anti vas rubbish and we are too soft, or too scared, to do anything about it.
            France, the vaccine sceptics of the world averaged over 400k we were half their number.
            Covid passports have certainly concentrated the French people regarding being jabbed

          • TGLoyalty says:

            @yuff what are you in about?

            80%+ of U.K. adults have had a jab. You will never get all

            France is about 20% behind which is why they are seeing higher numbers of vaccines being administered right now.

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