How Does The Travel Traffic Light System Work?

The UK government has now announced the new 3-tier Travel Traffic Light System based on Covid-19 risk levels.

Traffic Light Vaccination Status Passenger Locator Form Test Before You Return to the UK PCR Test Once Back in UK Quarantine Hotel Isolate at Home Test to Release Early More PCR Tests
All Travellers
Within 72 hours of Arrival
On or Before Day 2
Double Vaccinated
Within 72 hours of Arrival
On or Before Day 2
Not Vaccinated (or only one dose)
Within 72 hours of Arrival
On or Before Day 2
10 Days
Optional on Day 5
Day 8
All Travellers
Within 72 hours of Arrival
On or Before Day 2
10 Days
Day 8

Here's How The Countries are Categorised.

Each destination has been given a status of Green, Amber or Red and it is worth bearing in mind that these measures only govern the rules for returning to the UK; individual countries may have their own additional Covid border controls and measures which travellers will need to comply with to enter.

The rules for the traffic light system has been updated to allow double-vaccinated travellers to visit amber list countries without the need to quarantine on return to England.

The traffic light system and rules are updated regularly. Please contact our Travel Consultants for the latest advice.

Green Countries

  • Complete a Passenger Locator Form
  • You will need to take a pre-departure test within 72 hours of arrival to the UK.
  • On the first or second day of arriving back in the UK, you will be required to take a PCR test.
  • PCR tests must be booked before travelling with a government-approved testing provider.

Countries on the Green List:

  • Barbados
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Gibraltar
  • Iceland
  • Latvia
  • Malta
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Turks & Caicos Islands

The following countries are on the Green List, however, their governments are not allowing UK citizens entry or travel may only be permitted without quarantine on arrival to your destination if you have received both vaccines. Please ask us for further details.

    • Anguilla
    • Austria
    • Australia
    • Bermuda
    • Brunei
    • Bulgaria
    • Canada
    • Cayman Islands
    • Dominica
    • Falkland Islands
    • Faroe Islands
    • Germany
    • Grenada
    • Hong Kong
    • Israel
    • New Zealand
    • Norway
    • Singapore
    • Slovakia
    • Taiwan

Amber Countries

 

Double vaccinated

(including children under 18 years old)
  • Complete a Passenger Locator Form
  • You will need to take a pre-departure test within 72 hours of arrival to the UK.
  • On the first or second day of arriving back in the UK, you will be required to take a PCR test.
  • PCR tests must be booked before travelling with a government-approved testing provider.
 
 

Not vaccinated

(or only one dose)
  • Complete a Passenger Locator Form
  • You will need to take a pre-departure test within 72 hours of arrival to the UK.
  • On days two and eight of arriving back in the UK, you will be required to take a PCR test.
  • You will need to quarantine for 10 days at home when arriving into the UK from an amber list country. Children under the age of 18 are exempt from quarantine.
  • departing a green list country for entry into the UK, you will need to take a pre-departure test before boarding your flight, ferry or train to the UK.
  • If applicable your quarantine/self-isolation period can end early by taking a test to release on day five, by purchasing an extra PCR test (this is in addition to the tests required for days two and eight). As long as you receive a negative test to release, you can end quarantine.
  • PCR tests must be booked before travelling with a government-approved testing provider.

Countries on the Amber List:

For the full list see the FCDO website.
    • The Bahamas
    • Bahrain
    • Belgium
    • British Virgin Islands
    • Cambodia
    • China
    • Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue
    • Cyprus
    • Czech Republic
    • Fiji
    • France
    • Greece (including islands)
    • India
    • Italy
    • Jamaica
    • Japan
    • Luxembourg
    • Madagascar
    • Malaysia
    • Mauritius
    • Morocco
    • Netherlands
    • Portugal and the Azores
    • Qatar
    • Russia
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Spain, Balearic and Canary Islands
    • St Lucia
    • Sweden
    • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
    • United States (USA)
    • Vietnam

Red Countries

  • Complete a Passenger Locator Form
  • You will need to take a pre-departure test within 72 hours of arrival to the UK.
  • You will need to quarantine for 10 days in a specific quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750 when arriving into the UK from a red list country.
  • On days two and eight of arriving back in the UK, you will be required to take a PCR test whilst at the hotel.
  • You will need to quarantine for 10 days at home when arriving into the UK from an amber list country. Children under the age of 18 are exempt from quarantine.
  • departing a green list country for entry into the UK, you will need to take a pre-departure test before boarding your flight, ferry or train to the UK.
  • You must book and agree to pay for a hotel quarantine and testing package before arrival back into the UK.

Countries on the Red List:

For the full list see the FCDO website.

    • Argentina
    • Bahrain
    • Botswana
    • Brazil
    • Cape Verde
    • Chile
    • Colombia
    • Costa Rica
    • Cuba
    • Dominican Republic
    • Ecuador
    • Egypt
    • Indonesia
    • Kenya
    • Maldives
    • Mexico
    • Mozambique
    • Oman
    • Peru
    • Seychelles
    • South Africa
    • Sri Lanka
    • Thailand
    • Tunisia
    • Turkey
    • Uruguay
    • Zimbabwe

What are the Testing & Vaccine Regulations when travelling abroad?

You will no doubt be well versed in what a PCR test is by now, and probably like many, not quite sure what this will mean for your holiday and how you go about getting one.

Although there are several other Covid-19 tests available, the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is currently the most recognised and therefore recommended.

A PCR test will likely be needed for travel to many countries. For the most-up-to date travel information, we would recommend checking the UK government’s travel advice and entry requirements. What we do know for certain is that you will need a PCR test for entry into the UK, before departing your destination and also after arrival. The requirements for the PCR testing will vary from country to country for the Green, Amber and Red lists.

The PCR tests for travel will only be available from government approved providers and travellers will not be able to obtain a PCR test via the NHS.

The prices for these tests are still a little uncertain however, Meon Valley Travel has negotiated a deal with Randox Health (government approved):

  • £43 for a single PCR test – Use code ADVANTAGE43
  • £86 for a Green PCR Travel Pack (1 pre-departure PCR Test, 1 Day 2 PCR Test with NGS) – Use code ADVANTAGE43
  • £129 for an Amber PCR Travel Pack (1 pre-departure PCR Test, 1 Day 2 PCR Test with NGS and 1 Day 8 PCR Test) – Use code ADVANTAGE43

Whilst away you will need a Test to Return prior to returning back to the UK, whilst many resorts and local clinics are offering this service, we have simplified the process for you with qured.com

  • £39 for a Test to Return – Take a test no earlier than 72 hours before starting your return journey. Use this 20-minute rapid test, overseen on video call by a Health Advisor, so you won’t have to source a test abroad.

You will also need to submit a Passenger Locator Form within 48 hours before arriving back in the UK, it’s free to submit and will be required at check-in.

Green traffic light

What if my destination is Green?

If you have a Green country booked then your booking will go ahead. However, you will need to take into consideration the additional cost for the PCR test but, this will not trigger the right to a full refund under the Package Travel Regulations, please ensure you have adequate travel insurance.

What if my Destination is Amber?

The Amber category appears to be the trickiest to work with. You will need to consider the additional costs of the PCR tests and the self-isolation period on your return if you are un-vaccinated. As it stands currently, if you are considering cancelling your holiday or travel plans, these measures will not trigger the right to a full refund and will be subject to cancellation charges set out in your booking conditions. However, there are several governing bodies at play here so rules and regulations could be set to change.

What if my destination is Red?

The Red list is pretty straightforward if the Foreign Office is advising against all but essential travel to these countries. Whilst there is some speculation as to whether this measure triggers the right to a full refund, the general stance in the industry is to refund customers in full in these circumstances.

For added peace of mind,
book with an award-winning agency,
Meon Valley Travel

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