UK Covid travel news: Which countries are on the red, amber, amber plus, and green lists?

·8-min read

Here are all the rules for British travellers hoping to get some sunshine in the weeks to come.

Balearic islands - including Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca - and British Virgin Islands have been moved to the amber list in the latest travel update.

Cuba, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sierra Leone will be joining the red list following the latest Covid travel review.

But Bulgaria and Hong Kong will be placed on the green list from Freedom Day July 19.

Croatia and Taiwan will be added to the green list but under the “watch list” which means it could be at risk of moving to the amber list when the travel list is reviewed again.

Double-vaccinated British holidaymakers returning from an amber list country will no longer need to self isolate as of July 19.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in the Commons on July 8 that holidaymakers were still required to take a test three days before returning and a PCR test on, or before, the second day after returning home.

How does the traffic light system work?

Green: Travellers must take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back into England. Holidaymakers who test negative will not need to quarantine on their return or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests post holiday.

Amber: Double vaccinated British holidaymakers returning from an amber list country will no longer need to self isolate as of July 19. Arrivals, who are not double-jabbed, must quarantine for ten days. Unvaccinated people must take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two and day eight with the option for “test to release” on day five to end self-isolation early. Those who are vaccinated must take a pre-arrival test, and test on day two of arriving back into the country.

Amber plus:UK travellers must quarantine for up to 10 days when they arrive home, regardless of vaccination status. They also need to take a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival, and another on day eight. Double-jabbed people can take an additional test on day five and leave quarantine early if the result is negative. They still must take the day eight test. Only France is ‘amber plus’ at the moment, but others including Spain and Greece are rumoured to be under consideration to be added.

Red: Those returning from red list countries must stay in a managed quarantine hotel for ten days which they should book before their trip. Travellers must complete pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day two and day eight.

What countries are currently on the Green travel list?

Anguilla

Antarctica/British Antarctic Territory

Antigua and Barbuda

Australia

Barbados

Bermuda

British Indian Ocean Territory

Brunei

Bulgaria

Cayman Islands

Croatia

Dominica

Falkland Islands

Faroe Islands

Gibraltar

Grenada

Hong Kong

Iceland

Israel and Jerusalem

Madeira

Malta

Montserrat

New Zealand

Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands

Singapore

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Taiwan

Turks and Caicos Islands

What countries are on the Green watchlist?

If a country is in danger of moving to amber it will be added to the green watchlist.

Currently the below countries are on the watchlist:

Anguilla, Antarctica/British Antarctic Territory, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Dominica, Grenada, Israel and Jerusalem, Madeira, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, Taiwan, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Ibiza (PA)
Ibiza (PA)

Any advice on what to do in Green list countries?

Here is our guide on what to eat, see and do in Tel Aviv.

For Gibraltar you can use this guide.

Travellers wanting to jet off to Iceland can follow this road trip and then check out Deplar Farm one of best spas in the world.

People sunbathe on a beach in Spain (REUTERS)
People sunbathe on a beach in Spain (REUTERS)

What countries are currently on the Amber list?

Akrotiri and Dhekelia

Albania

Algeria

Andorra

Armenia

Aruba

Austria

Azerbaijan

Balearic islands (Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca)

British Virgin Islands

The Bahamas

Belarus

Belgium

Belize

Benin

Bhutan

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Burkina Faso

Cambodia

Cameroon

Canada

Central African Republic

Chad

China

Comoros

Congo

Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue

Côte d’Ivoire

Croatia

Curaçao

Cyprus

Czech Republic (Czechia)

Denmark

Djibouti

El Salvador

Equatorial Guinea

Estonia

Fiji

Finland

France

French Polynesia

Gabon

The Gambia

Georgia

Germany

Ghana

Greece (including islands)

Greenland

Guadeloupe

Guatemala

Guinea

Guinea-Bissau

Honduras

Hungary

Iran

Iraq

Italy

Jamaica

Japan

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kiribati

Kosovo

Kuwait

Kyrgyzstan

Laos

Latvia

Lebanon

Liberia

Libya

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macao

Madagascar

Malaysia

Mali

Marshall Islands

Martinique

Mauritania

Mauritius

Mayotte

Mexico

Micronesia

Moldova

Monaco

Montenegro

Morocco

Nauru

Netherlands

New Caledonia

Nicaragua

Niger

Nigeria

North Korea

North Macedonia

Norway

The Occupied Palestinian Territories

Palau

Papua New Guinea

Poland

Portugal (including the Azores)

Réunion

Romania

Russia

Samoa

San Marino

Sao Tome and Principe

Saudi Arabia

Senegal

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Solomon Islands

South Korea

South Sudan

Spain (including the Canary Islands)

St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Maarten

St Martin and St Barthélemy

St Pierre and Miquelon

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Sweden

Switzerland

Syria

Tajikistan

Thailand

Timor-Leste

Togo

Tonga

Turkmenistan

Tuvalu

Ukraine

United States (USA)

Uzbekistan

Vanuatu

Vietnam

Wallis and Futuna

Western Sahara

Yemen

What countries are on the Amber Plus list?

France

What countries are currently on the Red list?

Afghanistan

Angola

Argentina

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Bolivia

Botswana

Brazil

Burundi

Cape Verde

Chile

Colombia

Congo (Democratic Republic)

Costa Rica

Cuba

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

Egypt

Eritrea

Eswatini

Ethiopia

French Guiana

Guyana

Haiti

India

Indonesia

Kenya

Lesotho

Malawi

Maldives

Mongolia

Mozambique

Myanmar

Namibia

Nepal

Oman

Pakistan

Panama

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

Qatar

Rwanda

Seychelles

Somalia

South Africa

Sri Lanka

Sudan

Suriname

Sierra Leone

Tanzania

Trinidad and Tobago

Tunisia

Turkey

Uganda

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Uruguay

Venezuela

Zambia

Zimbabwe

What you need to know about PCR tests

PCR tests must be booked through an approved Government provider.

Tests currently cost between £120 and £160, however ministers are looking at ways to reduce the price to just £45 to help boost the travel industry.

Mr Shapps told the Commons in April that one provider said they could offer the tests for £44.90 each.

What about travelling when you have had the Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine?

Britons who were given an Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine will no longer be turned away from Malta, the transport secretary has said.

Grant Shapps said that Maltese authorities have “amended their travel advice” to allow entry for all holiday-makers who received the jab in Britain, regardless of where it was manufactured.

“All vaccines have gone through rigorous safety and quality checks,” he added in a tweet.

Malta has yet to confirm the change.

Up to five million British people have been given the version of the jab without being told that it is not licensed in the European Union (EU), reports The Telegraph.

While there is nothing wrong with the vaccine, and it has been authorised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is yet to approve it. This means it is not currently being accepted as part of the EU’s vaccine passport scheme.

Some European countries have individually agreed to admit Brits who have had the jab and Malta has now done so too after a couple in their 60s were turned back at Manchester Airport at 3.30am on Friday.

When will the next travel review take place?

The green, amber and red destination lists are updated every three weeks. The next update is imminient.

Will any more countries be added to the Green list?

There are plenty of popular holiday destinations with Covid-19 rates that are currently lower than Britain’s.

However, low case numbers are just one factor taken into account by the government when it considers adding a destination to the green list.

They also look at vaccination rates, variants of concern and whether a country is good a genomic sequencing.

What is a quarantine hotel and how much does it cost?

To prevent the spread of Covid-19 and potentially harmful variants into the UK, people who have travelled from or passed through a red list country must self-isolate in government-approved quarantine hotel.

Travellers must complete ten days of quarantine which begins at 0.01am on the first day after arrival.

A Covid test must be taken on day two and day eight. Guests are permitted to leave the hotel after completing ten full days provided they test negative for the virus.

Transport is provided from the airport to the hotel and passengers who have parked at the airport will need to extend their parking period.

Full board is provided as part of the quarantine package including three daily meals, fresh fruit, tea, coffee, soft drinks and water.

Travellers must pay £1,750 for their stay, with an additional rate of £650 for children over 12 and £325 for children between five and 12-years-old.

There is no additional cost for children under five.

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