Where can the British travel from 17 May?
Many had awaited the announcement of green-listed countries people from the UK can travel to without the need to quarantine on their return. Only 12 countries and territories worldwide made it to the list so far and Brits will officially be allowed to visit them from 17 May.
Under the current traffic light system, countries are categorized into green, amber, and red. The green ones pose the lowest risk of importing COVID-19 back into the UK while the red ones pose the highest risk.
The green-listed countries include Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Portugal, Israel, Gibraltar, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Brunei, Falkland Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
The British government expects to review and expand the green list on a regular basis every three weeks depending on the epidemiological situation in each country worldwide.
What are the restrictions in the countries on the green list?
While Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore have been added to the green list of countries, the borders of both are currently shut to almost all international arrivals. Visitors are required to undergo quarantine or isolation and testing and there are rumors that Australia might not open up before 2022.
Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira, has long been a favorite among British vacationers and it was also one of the front runners for the green list. The country lifted its flight ban on the UK on 16 April, meaning holidaymakers from the UK will be able to book a trip there this summer.
On 23 May, Israel will open its borders to visitors who have been vaccinated or recovered from the infection. Despite being on the UK’s green list, travelers will need to take a PCR test before their departure to Israel and test again on arrival in the country. Recently the EU also added Israel to the list of safe countries.
Traveling to Iceland recently became easier as the country now also accepts vaccination certificates. Those who have not been vaccinated will need to present a negative PCR test no than 72 hours before their departure to Iceland and have a test arrival and another one 5–6 days later. If they test positive, they’ll be required to isolate themselves.
Before setting out to Brunei, it is required to apply for a permit from the Prime Minister’s Office. If permission is granted, travelers must go into quarantine at a designated facility, such as a local hotel, and stay there for a period of 2 to 14 days.
What are the rules for traveling to green, amber, and red countries?
For the green-listed countries, travelers will be asked to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before the second day of their arrival back in the UK. They won’t need to go into quarantine or isolation unless they test positive for coronavirus.
Those returning from amber countries will be subject to stricter measures — besides having to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test by day two or their arrival, they’ll also be required to undergo another PCR on day eight and isolate for up to 10 days (they can choose to test again on day five and if negative, they are released).
|█▊ | 29.3% [+0.9] (1 dose)
|▋ | 11.1% [+0.3] (Fully)
💉Total: 4,121,938 [+119,654]
Per 100 people:
💉Total: 40.42 [+1.17] 💉7 days average: 0.86 [+0.08]
— 🇪🇺 COVID-19 Vaccination (@VaccinationEu) May 11, 2021
As for the red ones, arrivals will need to go into a 10-day quarantine at a managed accommodation, and test before departure and again on the second and eighth day.
See a full list of countries in the red category below. All remaining countries that are neither green nor red fall into the amber category.
Full list of red countries (in alphabetical order):
- Cape Verde
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- French Guiana
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
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