Which countries are on the green list, the orange list and the red list? UK travel rules explained after last update
The results of the latest UK traffic light system review regarding travel restrictions have been announced.
Introduced from May 17, the three-tiered measures separate countries into a list of green, orange and red destinations, each with different restrictions on returns to the UK.
With vacations abroad being strictly limited for most people, regular reviews of each listing are eagerly awaited by vacationers and the beleaguered travel industry.
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The latest announcement is of particular significance as it precedes a major relaxation in quarantine rules for arrivals from the amber countries of England and Scotland – here’s what the lists look like ahead of the review.
What did Grant Shapps announce?
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed on Wednesday that Bulgaria and Hong Kong would be added to the green list on Monday, while Croatia and Taiwan would be added to the green list.
However, the Balearic Islands and British Virgin Islands are moved to the Amber List of the Green Watch List, with four countries joining the Red List, with which the strictest restrictions are enforced.
Which countries are on the green list?
Arrivals from Green List countries must take 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.
However, they do not need to self-quarantine upon their return (unless they test positive) or take any further testing.
The countries that will be on the green list from July 19 at 4 a.m. are:
- Anguilla (Green List)
- Antarctica / British Antarctic Territory (Green List)
- Antigua and Barbuda (Green List)
- Barbados (Green Watch List)
- Bermuda (Green Watch List)
- British Indian Ocean Territory (Green List)
- Cayman Islands (Green Watch List)
- Croatia (Green List)
- Dominica (Green Watch List)
- the falkland islands
- Faroe Islands
- Grenada (Green Watch List)
- Hong Kong
- Israel and Jerusalem (Green Watch List)
- Madeira (Green Watchlist) – Mainland Portugal and the Azores are on the orange list.
- Montserrat (Green Watchlist)
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands (Green Watch List)
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- Taiwan (Green Watchlist)
- Turks and Caicos Islands (Green Watch List)
Which countries are on the orange list?
The Orange List represents nearly 150 overseas countries, including many of the UK’s favorite vacation destinations like France, Spain and Greece.
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.
However, under new rules, starting July 19, travelers arriving in England and Scotland from these destinations will not have to self-quarantine if they have received both doses of the Covid vaccine, or if they are are under 18 years of age.
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”.
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.
Although the changes expand options for UK holidaymakers, it is important to check the entry requirements for the desired destination (available through the Department of Foreign Affairs travel advice) and to ensure it welcomes visitors. UK and the certification they need.
Travelers should also consider government guidelines on non-essential travel, which operates separately from the traffic light system and can have serious ramifications for travel insurance.
The countries that will be on the orange list from 4:00 a.m. on July 19 are:
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia
- Bonaire, Saint-Eustache and Saba
- Bosnia herzegovina
- British Virgin Islands
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue
- Ivory Coast
- Czech Republic (Czechia)
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- French Polynesia
- The Gambia
- Greece (including islands)
- Marshall Islands
- New Caledonia
- North Korea
- North Macedonia
- The Occupied Palestinian Territories
- Papua New Guinea
- Portugal (including the Azores – Madeira is on the Green Watch List)
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- The Solomon Islands
- South Korea
- South sudan
- Spain (including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- St. LUCIA
- St Martin and St Barthélemy
- St Pierre and Miquelon
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- To go
- United States
- Wallis and futuna
- Western Sahara
Which countries are on the red list?
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 if you have UK residence rights.
The countries on the red list are:
- Green cap
- Congo (Democratic Republic)
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- French Guiana
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)