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UK international Travel - The Traffic Light System

7th May - traffic light system update, Spain, Italy, France and Greece are on the amber list

As England goes into the next phase of the roadmap out of lockdown on 17 May, a traffic light system that categorises countries based on their COVID-19 risk levels has been drawn up.

Travellers coming from countries on the green list will need to take a COVID test before they fly back to the UK and another on the second day after they return - but will not have to quarantine.

Those coming from amber countries will have to quarantine for 10 days at home, with a test before they return, another on day two and another on day eight.

People coming from red countries will have to isolate for 10 days in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750 - with a test before they depart, and tests on day two and day eight.

Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal have been added to the red list.

Despite being on the green list, people will not be able to go on holiday to Australia, New Zealand or Singapore as they are closed to UK tourists.

The most popular European destinations with UK holidaymakers - such as Spain, Italy, France and Greece - are on the amber list and the government have said people should not travel to amber and red countries for leisure.

This is the full green list:

Green

Gibraltar

Israel

Portugal

Australia

New Zealand

Brunei

Iceland

Faroe Islands

Tristan Da Cunha

St Helena

Ascension

Falkland Islands

Singapore

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

UK international Travel the Traffic Light System -  Updated 7th May The UK have stated that they will release details later today of their "Traffic light system" for international travel from the 17th May, and which countries or territories are in the Green, Amber or Red zones.

Dont forget however, that the ban on non essential travel from the UK (including holidays) is in place in Spain until midnight on May 31st.

April 10th - The Global Travel Taskforce sets out the approach to safely restarting international travel.  Recommendations include launch of a new traffic light system and ‘green watchlist’, and the introduction of travel certification.  The government’s priority remains to protect the public and the vaccine rollout from international coronavirus (COVID-19) variants of concern.

A framework to chart the safe return of international travel has been set out  by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

The traffic light system, will categorise countries based on risk alongside the restrictions required for travel, and will be set up to protect the public and the vaccine rollout from international Covid 19 variants.

Key factors in the assessment will include: The percentage of their population that have been vaccinated.  The rate of infection.  The prevalence of variants of concern and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

The report, produced by the Global Travel Taskforce, shows how international travel could resume from 17th May 2021 at the earliest, in an accessible and affordable way. This includes the removal of the permission to travel form - meaning passengers would no longer need to prove they have a valid reason to leave the country.

The risks posed by variants of Covid19 remain significant, and restrictions for inbound passengers, such as 10-day managed quarantine, home quarantine, and stringent testing will remain in place - but will apply to people differently depending on whether the destination visited is categorised as ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’.

Green:

People arriving in the UK from "green list" countries will need to take a pre-departure test in that country

On or before the second day after arriving in the UK, they will need to take a PCR test, which costs around £120

They will not need to quarantine on their return unless they receive a positive test

Test packages must be booked and paid for before travelling from a list of government-approved providers

Amber: 

People arriving from "amber list" countries will have to quarantine for 10 days at home

They will have to take a pre-departure test, then a PCR test on days two and eight

There will be an option for "test to release" in which they can end self-isolation early if they test negative on day five by purchasing an extra PCR test

Test packages must be booked and paid for before travelling from a list of government-approved providers

Red: 

Arrivals from the "red list" will have to quarantine for 10 days in a specific quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750

They will have to take a pre-departure test then PCR tests on day two and day eight

Passengers must book and agree to pay for a quarantine package before departing for the UK

UK international Travel

UK international Travel

COVID-19 charter will also be introduced from 17th May 2021, clearly setting out what is required of passengers and what their rights are while measures remain in place.

Testing remains an essential part of protecting public health as restrictions begin to ease - with all arrivals who are not exempt required to book a pre-departure, day 2 and day 8 test before travelling.

Arrivals travelling from ‘red list’ countries should book a quarantine package before departure, and arrivals from ‘amber’ and ‘green’ countries will be required to book test packages before travelling from one of the government’s approved list of providers.

Testing post-arrival remains an important tool in our wider measures to manage the risk of imported cases - allowing us to monitor positive tests and ensure people isolate, as well as identify and genomically sequence variants of concern.

Work  will continue 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.

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.

It is too early to predict which countries will be on which list over the summer, and the government continues to consider a range of factors to inform the restrictions placed on them. We will set out by early May which countries will fall into which category, as well as confirming whether international travel can resume from 17th May 2021.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: International travel is vital – it boosts businesses and underpins the UK economy – but more than that, it brings people together, connects families who have been kept apart, and allows us to explore new horizons.

To give passengers more certainty when travelling, a ‘green watchlist’ will be introduced to help identify countries most at risk of moving from ‘green’ to ‘amber’. The watchlist will provide greater assurance for those who wish to travel abroad.

While the watchlist will warn travellers of potential changes in advance, the government will not hesitate to act immediately should the data show that countries risk ratings have changed.

The allocation of countries will be kept under review and respond to emerging evidence, with a particular focus on variants of concern.

Restrictions will be formally reviewed on 28th June 2021 to take account of the domestic and international health picture, and to see whether current measures could be rolled back. Further formal reviews will take place at checkpoints no later than 31st July and 1st October 2021.

To ensure the UK’s borders remain safe and efficient when passenger flows increase, the government has also announced plans to digitise the passenger locator form, integrating it into the UK border system and enabling checks to take place at e-gates by autumn 2021.

To further boost consumer confidence, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will be given additional enforcement powers to act on airlines that have breached consumer rights - with a dedicated consultation on how to use additional tools to enforce consumer rights expected later this year.

COVID-19 charter will also be introduced from 17th May 2021, clearly setting out what is required of passengers and what their rights are while measures remain in place.

Entry Requirements into Spain, this page is kept fully up to date.

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