Green, amber, and red categories give travelers to and from the UK new options
The UK has announced the list of countries colored green under its latest “traffic light” system for foreign travel, coming into effect from 17 May.
Countries are split into three groups — red, amber, and green — depending on their perceived risk. It evaluates both the risk that travelers from the UK will encounter going there, as well as the risk that arrivals from abroad (including returning holidaymakers) will pose to public health in the UK.
The criteria countries — and, in some cases, individual islands — have been evaluated on include coronavirus infection rates, reliability of data, prevalence of “variants of concern”, genomic sequencing capability, vaccine roll-out and passengers connecting through key hubs.
The full list of destinations on the “green” list is as follows:
Travelers from these countries entering the UK will not have to self-isolate, but passengers will require a COVID-19 test at most 72 hours before traveling. A spokesman for the UK border force warned that delays at the border would be inevitable as border officers conduct checks that UK citizens should “rightly expect” to maintain the nation’s collective health, and that passengers must be patient when waiting to enter the UK.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said that this absolutely wasn’t a list of “places people want to go and lie on the beach” that they would then “twist the science” to suit; the message is still to “proceed with the necessary caution.
Countries on the “amber” list include:
Travelers from countries on the “amber” list will need to quarantine for a period of 10 days and take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on day two and day eight. However, there is a touch of flexibility to this, as there may be an option to take an extra test on day five in order to end quarantine early.
A number of providers of PCR tests in the UK have been working with the government in order to reduce the prices of the tests, and increase their availability.
“We will work with the travel industry and private testing providers ahead of international travel reopening, to see how we can further reduce the cost of travel for the British public, while ensuring travel is as safe as possible,” a Government spokesperson said.
“This could include cheaper tests being used when holidaymakers return home, as well as whether the Government would be able to provide pre-departure tests.”
Direct travel only
If you’re planning on traveling to a “green” destination (or from one to the UK), please be aware that you must travel directly there and back. No allowances will be made for transiting through other territories.
Indeed, some of the countries on either the amber or red list are not there because of infection rates necessarily, more that they’re major international transit hubs.
Many countries are still on the “no visitors, sorry!” list, and these include:
Lists will be updated regularly
The government has also committed to reassessing the situation every three weeks, meaning the next lists will be updated and released on 28 May, 18 June and 9 July. This is providing everything runs smoothly of course; the situation will be monitored as things progress, but Kiwi.com will continue to update you on the situation as it unfolds.
The government also reserves the right to react to major and immediate changes outside of those dates; again, Kiwi.com will endeavor to bring you any key developments.
As mentioned, keep following Kiwi.com Stories for updates on changes and further travel news, as well as destination inspiration, special offers, travel hacks, incredible prices, and more.