If you have wanderlust (a strong desire to travel), then the Transport Secretary’s travel green list update will have you dusting your passport off and sorting through your swims.
Try Googling the rules, though, and you might get confused. But it’s okay when you know the facts, for instance, there are two areas to check before you book your travel:
England’s Green List - the places you can travel without having to self-isolate on return and the rules regarding forms and testing when you enter the UK.
Country of arrival’s rules - the rules on whether you can enter at all from the UK, whether you need to be fully vaccinated, forms, testing, and isolation rules.
On 24th June 2021, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed that international travel would begin to be reopened, albeit cautiously.
From 4 am on 30th June 2021, a UK resident can travel to Malta, Madeira, the Balearic Islands, and several UK overseas and Caribbean Islands without automatic hotel quarantine or self-isolation on return.
The UK government also announced plans to remove the self-isolation period on return to the UK for amber list countries for those who are fully vaccinated, although details won’t be provided until July 2021.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“We’re moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, we’re now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from amber countries - showing a real sign of progress.”
“It’s right that we continue with this cautious approach, to protect public health and the vaccine rollout as our top priority while ensuring that our route out of the international travel restrictions is sustainable.”
Perhaps the most awaited countries added to the list are The Balearic Islands, which include Ibiza, Menorca, Majorca, and Formentera.
Malta and Madeira have also made the green list of European countries, which will be well received by families and couples as affordable locations for holidays.
For those that like to travel a little further and enjoy true luxury, there are The Caribbean Islands, which include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, and the Pitcairn Islands will also be on the green list.
Yes, those countries that have been most recently added to the green list, with the exception of Malta, will also be on the government’s ‘green watchlist’, along with Israel and Jerusalem.
The watch list is for those countries the government are monitoring closely in terms of cases and variations, which may mean they could change back to amber if there are concerns.
Eritrea, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mongolia, Tunisia and Uganda were added to the travel red list.
As mentioned previously, you’ll need to check the green list rules and the country of entry’s rules when booking your travel.
Your travel provider can also help you understand the rules for entering a country and returning to the UK. Different airports, flight providers, and operators offer different packages and processes once at the airport.
Depending on where you are travelling, you will usually have to complete a test (as specified by the country of entry) before you fly, fill in a locator or health form, and test two days after you arrive. Some countries will only allow people who are fully vaccinated to enter.
You must take a pre-departure test and another test on or before day 2 after you arrive.
Complete a passenger locator form.
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.