New travel rules for the UK – amber list is no more

From 4am on 22nd September 2021, the traffic light system will be abolished, leaving just the “red” list and “green” list countries.

The “red list” has been shortened from 62 to 54 countries, with Kenya, Oman, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Maldives, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh now officially “green”.

Also, several countries have been added to the vaccine recognition list, meaning that they too can travel as officially vaccinated travellers (e.g. Japan, Singapore)

Fully-vaccinated travellers, from 4th October 2021, pre-departure testing no longer required

Returning from a green list country, there’s no longer any requirement to take a pre-departure Covid test (either PCR or lateral flow) and the post-arrival PCR test requirement will be replaced with the cheaper lateral flow test by the end of October.

Unvaccinated travellers, will still have to quarantine and pay for tests

– Must quarantine for 10 days at home upon their arrival from a green list country
– Take a lateral flow test before departure to UK
– Take a PCR test on day two and eight (or pay for “early release” PCR test on Day 5)

Arriving from “red list” countries
Still required to spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel, at a cost of £2,285 for solo travellers

All passengers will still need to fill in a passenger locator form ahead of travel and it’s important to note that just because a country is on the UK’s green list, it doesn’t necessarily mean the country is accepting UK citizens. Travellers are advised to check with the relevant country’s government website for their latest rules on tourist arrivals.

This page on the website has full details of green list countries and criteria will continue to be reviewed every three weeks. You can register for updates here, and these are the current red list rules. The following countries are categorised as ‘red list’ currently:

    • Afghanistan
    • Angola
    • Argentina
    • Bolivia
    • Botswana
    • Brazil
    • Burundi
    • Cape Verde
    • Chile
    • Colombia
    • Congo (Democratic Republic)
    • Costa Rica
    • Cuba
    • Dominican Republic
    • Ecuador
    • Eritrea
    • Eswatini
    • Ethiopia
    • French Guiana
    • Georgia
    • Guyana
    • Haiti
    • Indonesia
    • Lesotho
    • Malawi
    • Mayotte
    • Mexico
    • Mongolia
    • Montenegro
    • Mozambique
    • Myanmar
    • Namibia
    • Nepal
    • Panama
    • Paraguay
    • Peru
    • Philippines
    • Réunion
    • Rwanda
    • Seychelles
    • Sierra Leone
    • Somalia
    • South Africa
    • Sudan
    • Suriname
    • Tanzania
    • Thailand
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Tunisia
    • Uganda
    • Uruguay
    • Venezuela
    • Zambia
    • Zimbabwe

The information in this article was current on the date published.

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