UK travel: When is the next Covid travel update and what can we expect?

·4-min read

The UK government updated its travel restrictions on August 26, bringing seven new destinations onto the green list - and putting two countries on the red list.

Holidaymakers saw more movement on the three lists, which provided several extra options for travel just before the end of the school summer holidays.

Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Switzerland, and the Azores will be added to the green list or green watch list from 4am on August 30.

However, many popular destinations remain on either the amber list or the red list, including France, Italy, and Cyprus (all amber).

Thailand and Montenegro were moved to the red list from 4am on August 30.

Spain continues to sit on the amber list due to a slight fall in coronavirus cases falling in the region.

Many Caribbean and African holiday destinations continue to also be at risk of UK travel bans.

But when is the next review date and what can we expect to be announced?

When is the next UK travel review?

First arrivals at Heathrow airport from America to the UK since restrictions lifted. (Lucy Young)
First arrivals at Heathrow airport from America to the UK since restrictions lifted. (Lucy Young)

The traffic light system is being reviewed by the government every three weeks.

The next review is expected around Thursday September 16.

How does the traffic light system work?

Green: Travellers must take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back into England. Holidaymakers who test negative will not need to quarantine on their return or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests post holiday.

Green watchlist: Countries at risk of going amber

Amber: Double vaccinated British holidaymakers returning from an amber list country will no longer need to self isolate as of July 19. Arrivals, who are not double-jabbed, must quarantine for ten days. Unvaccinated people must take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two and day eight with the option for “test to release” on day five to end self-isolation early. Those who are vaccinated must take a pre-arrival test, and test on day two of arriving back into the country.

Amber plus: UK travellers must quarantine for up to 10 days when they arrive home, regardless of vaccination status. They also need to take a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival, and another on day eight. Double-jabbed people can take an additional test on day five and leave quarantine early if the result is negative. They still must take the day eight test. Only France is amber plus at the moment, but others including Spain and Greece are rumoured to be under consideration to be added.

Red: Those returning from red list countries must stay in a managed quarantine hotel for ten days which they should book before their trip. Travellers must complete pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day two and day eight.

Which countries are currently on the Green travel list?

Barbados beach (Pixabay)
Barbados beach (Pixabay)

Anguilla

Antarctica/British Antarctic Territory

Antigua and Barbuda

Australia

Austria

Barbados

Bermuda

British Indian Ocean Territory

Brunei

Bulgaria

Canada (from 4am Monday August 30)

Cayman Islands

Croatia

Denmark (from 4am Monday August 30)

Dominica

Falkland Islands

Faroe Islands

Finland (from 4am Monday August 30)

Germany

Gibraltar

Grenada

Hong Kong

Iceland

Israel and Jerusalem

Latvia

Liechtenstein (from 4am Monday August 30)

Lithuania (from 4am Monday August 30)

Madeira

Malta

Montserrat

New Zealand

Norway

Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands

Romania

Singapore

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

Slovakia

Slovenia

St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Switzerland (from 4am Monday August 30)

Taiwan

Turks and Caicos Islands

What is the Green watchlist and who is on it?

Scenic village in Croatia (Shutterstock)
Scenic village in Croatia (Shutterstock)

If a country is in danger of moving to amber it will be added to the green watchlist.

Currently the below countries are on the watchlist:

Anguilla, Antarctica/British Antarctic Territory, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Dominica, Grenada, Israel and Jerusalem, Madeira, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, Taiwan, Turks and Caicos Islands.

For more information on the lists, visit GOV.UK here.

What about expats who want to come back to the UK?

Ministers are preparing to ease travel rules for expats returning to the UK from Sunday, it has been reported (PA Wire)
Ministers are preparing to ease travel rules for expats returning to the UK from Sunday, it has been reported (PA Wire)

British expats who have received both doses of the jab are allowed into the UK from the EU and US without having to self isolate as of August 2.

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