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Green list destinations – what they are and how it will work

David Pettitt

When can we travel again?

Following guidance from the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce, international travel from the UK to a select number of destinations around the world will resume from the 17th May 2021.

How will the system work and what are the requirements for green, amber and red list destinations?

The UK will introduce a traffic light system which will categorise countries as either green, amber or red destinations. A visit to a green list country means that there is no need to quarantine on your return however you will still need to test negative both before you travel and also on your return to the UK. Should you visit an amber list destination, and you will be required to quarantine for ten days at home on your return to the UK unless you use the Government's Test to Release scheme where you will be able to leave quarantine after five days if you produce a negative test. The government have also stated that they will provide advance warning to travellers if it is likely that a country will move from the green list to the amber list.

The below chart sets out the travel requirements for green, amber and red list countries.

Measure Green Country Amber Country Red Country
Passenger Locator Form Yes Yes Yes
Pre-departure Test
(in destination)
Yes Yes Yes
Managed Quarantine at Hotel No No 10 days
Self-Isolation No 10 days N/A
Test to Release No On day 5 No
PCR Testing
(upon arrival in the UK)
On or before day 2 On or before day 2 On or before 2
Further PCR Testing
(upon arrival in the UK)
No Day 8 Day 8

Which countries are currently on the UK’s green list?

At present, these are the countries on the UK’s green list. It is expect that this list will change on a regular basis and we will be updating this blog whenever there are alterations by the government.

New Zealand
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island

The full green, amber and red lists as published by the UK Government can be found here.

Does it automatically mean I can travel to a green list country?

Just because a country is on the UK’s green list, it still does not necessarily mean that you will be able to travel to it. This is because every country has its own Covid travel rules. To help you navigate these, and other, requirements, our travel specialists will be delighted to assist you and provide expert advice.

Can I travel domestically within the UK?

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales you are free to travel around between each country. Currently you can stay in self-contained holiday accommodation which can be used by a single household or support bubble. At this moment in time, travel in or out of Northern Ireland is only allowed if essential.

Aside from the Covid travel requirements what other things should be kept in mind?

If you are intending to travel, or even if you feel you might, we would strongly recommend that you check your passport to ensure that it has not expired over the last twelve months. The Passport Office has recently warned of considerable delays, in some cases up to ten weeks, so it is important that if you do need a new passport that you ensure that you make your application as soon as possible.

Similarly, if you are planning on taking a European holiday this year, our Brexit blog is a helpful resource to ensure that you are fully prepared for post-Brexit travel on the continent.

Confidence to travel

We are here to help you with all of your travel questions, to provide advice and recommendations and to ensure that you feel fully confident to travel this year and into the future. Aside from having access to up to date information on rules and requirements, both here in the UK and abroad, we also understand that flexibility, booking confidence and financial protection is, especially at this time, a very important factor when considering whether or not to travel.

Our Covid-19 Travel Promise aims to provide you with the confidence to book your holiday with us, safe in the knowledge that all of our holidays are ABTA and ATOL bonded, that there are low deposits available and that you have the flexibility to defer your holiday, rebook to a different destination or cancel up until the payment of your balance. If, following balance payment, your holiday destination is affected by FDCO advice that recommends against all but essential travel due to Covid-19 you are free to defer your holiday or, instead, cancel and receive a refund.

We also understand the importance of travel insurance, especially during the current pandemic. There are a number of insurance providers that provide cover for Covid-19 and we will be able to direct to the relevant resources.

Useful links

UK Government - Red, amber and green list rules for entering England
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
UK Government ‘travel abroad’ planner
UK Government Test to Release scheme
UK Government Passenger Locator form
UK Government coronavirus testing for international arrivals
BBC holiday questions article

We are here to help

Please contact us here or call 01892 515 966 if you have any questions or queries on any aspects of travel. Our team will be delighted to assist you and to share their expertise and advice.

Head Office: 8-9 Orchard Business Centre, North Farm Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent, TN2 3XF

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