UK Travel Update: New Countries on the Green List
On 4 August, the British government announced the latest round of changes to the traffic light system. Several EU countries have been added to the UK’s green list. This means people travelling to England from these countries will not need to self-isolate, even if they haven't been vaccinated.
Travellers from Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will not need to be quarantined regardless of vaccination status as long as they tested negative from Covid before and after they travel. The news comes after the UK has just started allowing vaccinated EU and US citizens to enter the UK without the need to quarantine.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted a “balanced” approach to international travel. Speaking during a visit to Scotland, he said he knew “how important holidays are to people.”
People think about them, they save up for them, people yearn to go abroad this year — I totally get that.
We’ve got to balance that against the need to protect our country against the influx of new variants.Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK’s Traffic Light System for International Travel
The UK’s traffic light travel system has been a staple for overseas travel since it was first launched back in May. Despite a slow start, it has since been revisited and revised several times, with the latest update featuring a wide range of different types of vacation destinations that British travellers can take advantage of.
UK’s Transport Secretary, Grant Schapps, revealed on Twitter the new changes on the green list.
From 08 August, travellers from these countries will not need to self isolate regardless of vaccination status if they tested negative for the virus before and within 2 days of arriving in England.
The countries currently on the UK green list as of 4 AM on 30 August are:
- Antarctica/British Antarctic Territory
- Antigua and Barbuda
- the Azores
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Hong Kong
- Israel and Jerusalem
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
- South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- Turks and Caicos Islands
Changes on the Amber and Red List
Several countries will also make the switch from the red list to the amber list. Fully vaccinated travellers from amber countries with an approved UK vaccine do not need to quarantine upon arrival in the UK unless they tested positive for the virus.
India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will move on to the amber list, whilst heading in the opposite direction to the red list will be Georgia, Mexico, La Reunion and Mayotte due to the prevalence of variants of concern in these countries.
Despite speculation that restrictions on Spain would be tightened, it will stay on the amber list.
The UK has also backtracked on some restrictions it had placed on France. Previously, it was decided that fully vaccinated travellers returning from France would need to be isolated. This has now been reversed effective 8 August 2021.
To know the latest update on the traffic light system, check out the official UK government website.
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