UK Travel Update: British Overseas Travel Confirmed

UK Travel Update: British Overseas Travel Confirmed

Excitement is running high as the British government confirmed that it will ease international travel restrictions in time for summer.

The British government is set to announce the “green” list for countries that people can travel to on holiday shortly, and will have the right procedures in place to ensure travel can happen safely, said Trade Minister Liz Truss on 4 May.

The excitement had a second wind as the EU proposed to ease restrictions to allow fully vaccinated individuals or unvaccinated people from countries with a “good epidemiological situation” to enter the EU.

According to reports, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to announce the COVID-safe destinations on 7 May and the list will be updated every three weeks.

Traffic Light System

The British government is set to introduce a traffic light system where countries will be labelled green, amber or red, with different rules for returning travellers depending on what list their holiday destination is on.


Travellers will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a PCR test on or before day 2 of return to the UK. There is no quarantine required unless a positive test is reported.


Quarantine is required for 10 days at home upon return to the UK. Travellers must also take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day 2 and day 8. An additional Test to Release test is possible on day 5 to end self-isolation early.


British or Irish Nationals or those who have residence rights in the UK will be able to enter the country. Travellers will be required to quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved hotel. A pre-departure and PCR testing on days 2 and 8 of isolation are also a must.

Speculations Abound

Although the official “green” list has not been revealed, people are eargerly awaiting for the announcement.

Before the announcement, the latest data from around the world would be analysed taking into consideration four main criteria: Percentage of the population that has been vaccinated, the Covid infection rate, coronavirus variants and the strength of a country’s genomic sequencing, which makes it easier for variants to be detected.

As a sneak peek to the official list, the U.K. Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has changed its travel advice, declaring which EU countries are now safe for non-essential travel. The travel and tourism industry took the change as a reliable indication of where British holidaymakers will be allowed to go from 17 May onwards.

The FCDO is no longer advising against non-essential travel to the Canary Islands, five Greek islands, most of Portugal, Malta, Gibraltar, Iceland and Israel.

The Canary Islands include Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura.

Greek islands with exemptions to the do not travel warning are Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete.

There are still blanket warnings against France, Italy, and Croatia, while mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands, including Majorca, Menorca, and Ibiza also remain restricted.

It is widely believed that the USA will belong on the amber list.

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What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you think your summer destination will be part of the “green” list? Talk to us in the comment section below.

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