England today released its much-awaited GREEN list of countries, what a disappointment, from which returning Brits are not required to quarantine upon returning to a home that regions will likely follow (Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland).
At the same time, three countries were added to the list of RED, from which direct passenger flights are banned and, if you have been at them in the past 10 days, even transiting, you are required to pay and quarantine at government-mandated hotels for 10 days.
You can access the UK’s page for Covid-19 and travel here.
Note that the countries that are not listed as GREEN or RED are AMBER.
Traffic Light System:
Green: arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into the UK – but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday
Amber: arrivals will need to quarantine for 10 days and take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 with the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early
Red: arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for ‘red list’ countries which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing, and PCR testing on day 2 and 8
Portugal, Iceland, and Gibraltar? That’s all?
Turkey and Maldives moving to red are
All countries that are neither RED nor GREEN.
England plans to revisit the list of GREEN countries every three weeks or so, so there is some hope that popular European summer destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, and the Islands of Greece would be added at some point.
You also need to keep in mind that being on the GEEN list only means that Brits don’t need to quarantine when returning home. It doesn’t mean that these countries would welcome Brits with open arms at the moment (Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, anyone?).
Nothing stops Brits from traveling to AMBER or RED countries from May 17. You can do the Test & Release on day 5 when returning from AMBER country and end home quarantine if the test is negative. Returning or having been in a RED country makes things more complicated and expensive. Perhaps spending some time in a GREEN or AMBER country first?
Considering that you need on May 17th, two or probably three negative Covid-19 PCR-RT tests traveling for leisure purposes, even when for GREEN countries, it is relatively expensive for the masses.
Interestingly, Turkey (Turkish Airlines), United Arab Emirates (Emirates & Etihad), and Qatar (Qatar Airways) are all deemed as RED and prohibited from transiting passengers to the UK. They can fly cargo to the UK and fly passengers from the UK to and through their respective hubs.