UK’s traffic light system – A great way to plan your trip this summer amidst Covid-19
Last updated on 21st June 2021
Brits were shown the green light to travel abroad to specific countries on May 17 by the government. International travel is finally possible as the government has released a traffic light system as a guiding tool for travelling in 2021. Countries are divided into three lists and the arrivals from these countries will require various grades of quarantining and testing. The red and amber list have most countries and people travelling to the UK from them will definitely require to go through the lengthy procedure of quarantining and testing to enter the UK. Although the time and place of quarantining will vary with respect to time in the red and amber list, travellers should be ready for anything.
The green list contains 12 destinations so far, but it will change in due time as more countries will be included when they meet a certain criterion of vaccinations. Some of these countries will soon experience a huge surge in holidays as the citizens of the United Kingdom can travel there and come back without any restrictions. Green countries are deemed the safest to travel, and returning passengers will not require to quarantine for any specific number of days. Although travelling to red and amber countries is still permitted if you follow the rules, it is highly advised against it by the government representatives. Travel only when it is of utmost importance to the countries in amber and red list.
As of 21st June, the policy of the UK’s traffic light system remains unchanged for at least another month due to the increase in infections of the new variant known as Delta. We will update you as soon as it is either updated or changed in the upcoming days.
Directives and rules to enter the United Kingdom
Gaining entry to England and other countries of the United Kingdom depends on where you have been in the past ten days. We will define all the lists and the current set of rules and regulations that will help you plan your trip this summer to different countries. This article will also be updated with the apprise of new rules and regulations with respect to travelling, quarantining, relevant SOPs, and the UK travel restrictions imposed by the UK government in time.
The first flight carrying tourists to the green list countries left just recently to Portugal, and soon there will be more passengers travelling to the green list countries. People have packed their bags and planned their trips to their favourite places amidst this latest easing of travel restrictions on 17th May 2021.
Other popular tourist destinations such as Italy, Greece, Spain, and France are on the amber list currently. But UK government is currently monitoring the situation closely in all the countries and will update the list with new destinations as the situation gets better and the majority of people are vaccinated in those countries.
How does UK’s Traffic Light System work?
There are specific rules set by the government from which a criterion is made and followed. Following are some specific rules that are important to understand the traffic light system.
- The current rate of infection spreading in the population
- The percentage of a country’s population that has been jabbed (not all vaccines are approved by the UK law)
- The frequency of variants and their concerns
- The Country’s admittance to dependable scientific data and genomic sequencing
Also, the UK government will determine the current position of its own population getting jabbed and monitor everything so that people can remain safe all the time.
Following are the rules for all three lists of the UK’s traffic light system:
People arriving from the red list destinations will be subjected to mandatory stay in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days. They will also be required to present a pre-departure testing result as well as a mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing on the second and eighth day. It is highly advisable by all the government and non-government authorities to avoid travelling to these countries due to their ongoing pandemic situation. Countries included in this list are mostly going through their third wave, which is also considered more deadly and infectious.
People coming from the amber list destinations will need to quarantine for a period of 10 days as well as take PCR tests on a specific number of days during their quarantine. However, they will have an option to end their quarantine on the 5th day after taking an additional test on the same day. Although an important trip to a country placed on the amber list is possible with some thorough management, it is still highly recommended to not plan a trip unless it is very important. With passing time and the progress in vaccine drive in amber countries, they may soon be transferred to the green list.
People coming from the countries and destinations on the green list will need to take a pre-departure test along with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on their arrival or day 2 when they are back in the UK. They will not need to quarantine themselves on return unless they receive a positive result. They may have to take additional tests as well if need be. The green list includes countries that have made significant progress with their vaccination drive with respect to their population, and the list of active cases are few or none. However, these countries may have their own rules and travel policies which is why it is highly recommended to study them before planning your trip. Also, due to the Indian variant of the virus known as “Delta’ spreading in the UK, many countries have restricted travelling to or from the United Kingdom especially people who are yet to be vaccinated.
Currently, there are 11 countries and destinations on the green list. Although travelling is being discouraged right now, you can still plan a safe trip to these countries by following all the travel guidelines and make the most of your summers and upcoming seasons. You can also find exciting travel packages and deals to these destinations. Following are all the countries, tourists and holiday destinations on the UK green list as of June 2021:
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Israel and Jerusalem
- New Zealand
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha