The lists are decided based on the following criteria:
- The percentage of a country’s population that have been vaccinated
- The rate of infection
- The prevalence of variants of concern
- The country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing
Here are the rules for each list of the 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 two 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
- Amber:Arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of 10 days and take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on day two and day eight. There will be the option to take an additional test on day five 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 mandatory PCR testing on day two and eight
The Government has told people not to travel to countries not on the “green list”, other than for essential reasons.
The Government has been looking at ways to reduce the price of testing, with PCR tests generally costing around £120-160, while some travel providers have heavily subsidised the costs.
Amber list travel for double-jabbed
The Government has confirmed that people who have received both Covid jabs will be allowed to travel to amber list countries without having to quarantine on their return from 19 July.
Under the new rules, holidaymakers from the UK who have received two doses from the NHS will no longer be required to self-isolate for 10 days on their return to England from destinations on the amber list.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said under-18s will also be exempt from the requirement, and that the official guidance not to travel to countries on the amber list will be lifted from 19 July.
To qualify as fully vaccinated, he explained: “A full vaccination means 14 days have passed since your final dose of the vaccine.”
People returning from holidays from amber destinations will still be required to take a Covid-19 test three days before returning.
Arrivals will also have to take a test on or before the second day of their return, as per the previous restrictions, but will be exempt from the day eight test.