Explanation of the rules for fully vaccinated arrivals from Amber List countries
Along with the relaxation of national lockdown restrictions on July 19, England’s rules on overseas travel will also be subject to significant changes.
Under the new measures, travelers arriving from Orange List destinations will not have to self-quarantine if they have received both doses of the Covid vaccine, or if they are under 18.
The changes, confirmed by Grant Shapps after being teased during Boris Johnson’s main ‘Freedom Day’ announcement, should give vacationers more options ahead of this year’s summer break.
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Here’s how the new travel rules will work after July 19, the key countries on the Orange List, and what it all means to you.
What are the new travel rules after July 19?
Under the new rules, holidaymakers in the UK who have received two hits from the NHS will no longer be required to self-isolate for 10 days when returning to England and Scotland from Orange List destinations.
Previously, anyone arriving in the UK from an Amber List country was required to self-quarantine for 10 days (although they could take a ‘release test’ on the fifth day), as well as take medical exams. PCR tests on day two and day eight.
The Transport Secretary said those under the age of 18 would also be exempt from the requirement and official guidelines not to travel to Amber List countries would be lifted from July 19.
To be considered fully vaccinated, he explained, “a full vaccination means 14 days have passed since your last dose of the vaccine.”
People returning from vacations to amber destinations, such as France, Spain and Portugal, will still need to take a Covid-19 test three days before their return.
Arrivals will also be required to take a test no later than the second day of their return, as per previous restrictions, but will be exempt from the eighth day test.
In their current form, the new rules only apply to UK residents (and people who have received their NHS vaccines), although Mr Shapps has said he hopes this will be extended to the US and to EU countries “later this summer”.
Which countries are on the orange list?
The Orange List represents nearly 150 overseas countries. Only a small selection of countries are on the green list (with the fewest restrictions) and the rest are on the red list of countries you should not travel to.
This means the new rules improve holiday prospects to a range of preferred destinations from the UK, France and mainland Spain to Greece, Portugal and Italy.
However, relaxing the quarantine rules does not automatically mean that you can travel to all Amber List countries without restrictions.
It is important to check the entry requirements for the desired destination (available through the Department of Foreign Affairs travel advice) and ensure that it accommodates visitors from the UK and the certification they need .
France, for example, only allows fully vaccinated visitors from the UK to go without quarantine, and those 11 years of age or older must show a negative PCR test result (72 hours) or test result. antigen (48 hours).
Travelers should also heed the advice of the government, which operates separately from the traffic light system.
The Foreign Office has relaxed guidelines against non-essential travel to countries like Spain, France and Greece since Shapps’ announcement.
However, it continues to advise against travel to Germany, Italy and Croatia, which risks invalidating travel insurance.
What are the rules for Green and Red List countries?
The rules for returning Green List and Red List countries to England will remain unchanged from July 19:
- Green: new arrivals must undergo a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test no later than the second day of their return to the UK – but will not need to self-quarantine at their return (unless they receive a positive result) or take further testing
- Red: Arrivals from Red List countries must complete a 10 day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing, and mandatory PCR testing no later than day 2 and on or after day 8. You can only enter the UK if you are a UK or Irish national, or have UK residence rights
The countries currently on the green list are:
- Antarctica / British Antarctic Territory
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Balearic Islands (mainland Spain and the Canary Islands are on the orange list)
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- the falkland islands
- Faroe Islands
- Israel and Jerusalem
- Madeira (mainland Portugal and the Azores are on the orange list)
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- Turks and Caicos Islands
The countries on the red list are:
- Green cap
- Congo (Democratic Republic)
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- French Guiana
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Any changes to the countries on each list will be announced on Thursday, July 15, after the next revision of the traffic light system.