Foreign holidays are now allowed again, but destinations have been categorised by the UK Government according to a 'traffic light' system of green, amber and red, which lists countries based on risk alongside the restrictions required for travel "to protect the public and the vaccine rollout from international COVID-19 and its variants".
The traffic light system that was originally announced by the Government on the 7th May has been updated on Thursday 24 June, and now includes Malta, the Balearic islands (Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca) and Madeira, which will move to the Green Watchlist at 4am on Wednesday 30 June. The full Green List of Countries (as well as Amber and Red Lists) is listed on this page of the UK Government's website: Red, amber and green list rules for entering England
Green: Before you travel back to England you must: take a COVID-19 test; book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England; complete a passenger locator form. On arrival in England you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive. Children aged 4 and under do not need to take this test. You do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive. You must quarantine if NHS Test & Trace informs you that you travelled to England with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Amber: The government says people should only travel to destinations on its amber list in "exceptional circumstances". Before you travel back to England you must: take a COVID-19 test; book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 travel tests – to be taken after arrival in England; complete a passenger locator form. On arrival in England you must: quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days; take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8.
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.
You must follow all of the above rules even if you have been vaccinated.
Arrivals travelling from ‘red list’ countries should book a quarantine package before departure, and arrivals from ‘amber’ and ‘green’ countries are required to book test packages before travelling from one of the government’s approved list of providers.
Key factors in the assessment included:
the percentage of their 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
The Government says risks posed by variants remain significant, and restrictions for inbound passengers, such as 10-day managed quarantine, home quarantine, and stringent testing will remain in place - but will apply to people differently depending on whether the destination visited is categorised as ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’.
The government says testing remains an essential part of protecting public health as restrictions begin to ease.
Here's a checklist for before you go travelling:
Check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office travel advice for your destination to find the latest entry requirements and local rules relating to Coronavirus.
Check the Government’s traffic light list to find out what you need to do for your journey back to the UK.
Take out travel insurance as soon as you book and check its cover for Coronavirus.
Make sure all your travel documents are in order, e.g. your passport is valid for your travel dates and you’ve applied for the visas you need.
Research the new measures that will be in place on your journey and in-destination, e.g. the rules around face coverings and social distancing.
If you’re travelling to Europe, check what extra steps you need to take before you go at Brexit Advice for Travellers.
Browse Green Traveller to plan for when travel starts up again, here are just a few of our most popular pages and sections: Green Traveller's Guide to Green Spain