Many people were pleased that the British ministry for agriculture, fisheries, and food had added plenty of vacation spots to the nation’s “green list.”
This Thursday, the authorities made another move to restrict travel to prevent the confusion that has arisen in the week since they lifted the ban on foreign holidays.
Will the new rules allow U.K. citizens to travel abroad?
Residents of England, Scotland&Wales can now take vacations since they ended the law which prohibited nonessential travel abroad.
Northern Ireland residents did not affect too much by the changes. But the U.K. government has continuously warned that it will be a very different experience because of worries about Covid-19.
“Britain will face challenges at home and abroad whatever the year brings. These include delays, exclusion, and hassle to keep the country safe.” U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the current rules around social distancing will be lifted on July 19, while wearing masks will be voluntary in all settings.
Which all countries are under the Green List?
The U.K.’s traffic light system for designating safe travel destinations lists countries or territories classified as safest as “green”. Anyone traveling there does not have any quarantine restrictions after the return.
The following is the GREEN list: Anguilla; Antigua; Australia; Balearic Islands (off Spain’s Mediterranean coast); Barbados; Barbuda; Bermuda; British Antarctic Territory, Britain’s Indian Ocean Territory, and the British Virgin Islands. The Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Grenada, Iceland, Israel, and Madeira island group in the Atlantic Ocean located 400km northwest of Africa’s Cape Verde Islands and belonging to Portugal.
Portugal has been on the list of green countries. However, it has since moved to the amber list. It is unclear when Portugal will make its way back to green.
Unless you’re Australian, Bruneian, Faroese, New Zealander, or Singaporean, it’s worth noting that there are heavy restrictions in Australia. So being on the list doesn’t mean you can go there.
I live in England, which all countries can I visit?
Suppose an English traveler is going to a so-called “green” destination. In that case, they can avoid the quarantine process on their return. If they’ve taken a pre-departure test (just before leaving the country) and then again in the U.K. within 24 hours of arriving back.
We also couldn’t help but notice that some countries currently listed as green, such as New Zealand and Australia, remain closed to international travelers.
Tourists can also visit ‘amber’ or ‘red’ countries, but they have fewer travel options than those who choose not to.
People visiting “amber” list countries and are not vaccinated will have to quarantine themselves for ten days upon their return. They’ll also need to get pre-departure and PCR tests on days 2 and 8 of quarantine.
However, “amber” destinations qualify for a test-to-release scheme, which means holidaymakers can take a PCR test after five days’ quarantine. If they receive a negative result, they will be permitted to go out into the community.
Residents of the U.K. coming from one of the ‘amber list’ countries won’t have to stay in quarantine if vaccinated.
But residents will still be required to take a Covid-19 test before returning home and a second test on day two.
The scheme will cover four airports, allowing passengers on flights to Heathrow to upload their vaccinations before boarding. Flights to Heathrow from Athens, Los Angeles, Montego Bay, and New York can benefit from this.
Travelers from England who choose to visit “red” list destinations are required to check in to
Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are all in the “red zone”. They also have a pricey quarantine hotel for their returnees.
On what basis is the U.K. government deciding their country list?
The Covid-19 transmission risk, a variant of concern transmission risk, and the genomic surveillance capability of a country are factors that play a role in how decisions are made.
The U.K.’s Joint Biosecurity Centre has undertaken risk assessments for each destination, using data including a total number of vaccination doses administered per 100 people.