What countries are on the green list, amber list and red list?

Last updated: Monday 26th July 2021 at 7AM

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On 17th May 2021, the Traffic Light System came in for all travel into England meaning that countries will be listed as green, amber and red.

Here’s what countries are on the green list, the amber list and the red list and what that means for tests and quarantine.

Remember, this is just for travel into England – you’ll still need to check what restrictions are in place for the country you’re visiting.

When's the green list update?

The most recent green list update was on Wednesday 14th July.

The next update should be on Wednesday 4th or Thursday 5th August.

The rules then normally come into play on the following Monday.

The reviews are every 3 weeks, meaning that the update after that should be around Thursday 26th August.

Countries on the GREEN watchlist

This means that the government are watching their situation closely and they may be moved to amber at the next update if things do not get better.

What are the rules for visiting a green country?

If travelling to England from a green country, you need to:

  • Take a pre-departure test up to 72 hours – this can be a lateral flow (rapid antigen) or PCR test
  • Fill in a passenger locator form online before leaving your destination
  • Take a private PCR test on or before day two of your arrival in England
  • You do not need to quarantine, or take additional tests, unless the post-arrival test is positive
Please check the entry requirements for the country you plan to travel to – it may not be open to UK travellers, or require you to take tests or quarantine.
 
You can check this by visiting the country’s FCDO page – you can also access this by clicking on the country you’re after above.
 

However, with the list only just being announced there’s still a lot of information to be confirmed so follow me on Instagram and I’ll keep you updated too!

What countries on the green list can I actually travel to?

That’s right, just because a country is on our green list, it doesn’t mean they’re open to travellers from the UK.

Current travel

Croatia 🇭🇷
From 26th July 2021, all travellers from the UK must present a negative COVID-19 antigen test which is no older than 48 hours or a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours on arrival. This is regardless of your vaccination status. Details here.

Iceland 🇮🇸
Iceland are welcoming Brits who have been vaccinated, or who can prove they’ve had it. There are options for non-vaccinated tourists too – but you’ll have to quarantine. Details here.

Gibraltar 🇬🇮
Gibraltar is open to British tourists who have to book a free lateral flow test before their trip, and if they’re staying longer than 7 days, they’ll need to take another free test on day 5 too. Details here.

Malta 🇲🇹
Malta was open to British tourists who took a PCR test 72 hours before, but they’ve now confirmed that from 30th June, they will only be allowing vaccinated Brits only. There are no options for unvaccinated Brits. The FCDO have the full details here.

Madeira 🇵🇹
Madeira is letting passengers who’ve received two vaccine doses over 14 days ago free entry without testing or quarantine. They’ve confirmed that they accept the NHS app. If you’re not vaccinated, you’ll need to show a negative RT-PCR test 72 hours before your flight. Details here.

Long Haul ✈️
There are also options further afield but with varying levels of tests and quarantine, often based on whether you’ve been vaccinated or not. The easier restrictions are for Barbados, Grenada, British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos.

The FCDO pages for each of the countries will be updated once the dates are made official so make sure you sign up for email updates on there too.

Next, let’s take a look at the red list.

Countries on the RED list

You can find the latest updates on the red list here.

  • Afghanistan
  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominica Republic*
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea*
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Phillipines
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • UAE
  • Uganda*
  • Uruguay
  • Venezela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

What are the rules for visiting a red country?

You should not be travelling to red countries for leisure purposes however UK or Irish nationals (or UK residents) will be allowed to enter the UK. You must:

  • Take a pre-departure test up to 72 hours – this can be a lateral flow (rapid antigen) or PCR test
  • Fill in a passenger locator form online before leaving your destination
  • Book a 10 day hotel quarantine and testing package costing £1750 per person
  • As part of your hotel quarantine, take a PCR test on or before day two of your arrival in England and again on day 8
Santorini

Countries on the AMBER list

The amber list is quite simply every other country – any countries not listed on the green or the red list.

So, this currently includes popular tourist destinations such as:

  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • Malta
  • Italy
  • USA

Countries on the AMBER PLUS list

The amber ‘plus’ list refers to countries on the amber list that do not grant any perks for vaccinated British travellers.

At present, this is just one country: France

What are the rules for visiting an amber country?

Leisure travel to amber list countries became allowed on Monday 19th July

 The rules if travelling back to England from amber list countries are different based on your vaccination status.

If not vaccinated:

  • Take a pre-departure test up to 72 hours – this can be a lateral flow (rapid antigen) or PCR test
  • Fill in a passenger locator form online before leaving your destination
  • Self-isolate at home for 10 days
  • Take a private PCR test on day 2 of your arrival in England and again on day 8
  • It is possible to end isolation early by taking another PCR test on day five – this is called Test to Release

If double vaccinated:

  • Take a pre-departure test up to 72 hours – this can be a lateral flow (rapid antigen) or PCR test
  • Fill in a passenger locator form online before leaving your destination
  • Take a private PCR test on day 2 of your arrival in England 
To confirm, as of Monday 19th July, if you are a UK resident and have received 2 vaccines from the NHS (it cannot just be the same test as administered by the NHS) and 14 full days have passed, you will be able to return to England and not have to self isolate for 10 days.

In essence, the rules will be the same as returning from a green country for people in this bracket.

Can I go on holiday to an amber list country?

Yes, whilst the government have previously said that you should not be travelling to amber list countries, this advice did end on Monday 19th July.

Need more help?

How do I navigate the FCDO advice?

I’ve written a guide on how I use the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s information to work out whether I can go to a destination or not.

You can read it here.

Did that help?

I hope so! And do make sure to let me know where you’ve booked so I can holiday vicariously though you.

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