Grant Shapps has announced the most recent revisions to the UK’s traffic light system of Covid travel restrictions. As of 4 a.m. BST on Monday, July 19, 2021, the following changes will be made to the international travel red, amber and green lists.

Green List:

The following countries will be added to the government’s green list as of 4 a.m. BST on Monday, July 19, 2021:

  • Bulgaria
  • Hong Kong
  • Croatia
  • Taiwan

Croatia and Taiwan have been put to the green watchlist, indicating that they are at risk of moving from green to amber status. Passengers arriving from green list countries must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result prior to travel and must take another test on their second day in the UK.

Amber List:

From July 19, 2021 the amber list will include the following countries:

  • Balearic Islands
  • British Virgin Islands

In recent days, there has been a substantial surge in the number of cases of Covid-19 in the destination, which encompasses Ibiza, Majorca, Menorca, and Formentera.

Fully-vaccinated travellers returning to England, Scotland, and Wales from countries on the amber list will no longer need to self-isolate or take an extra test on day eight as of Monday. It is anticipated that this will reduce the amount of inconvenience for vaccinated vacationers, but quarantine for non-vaccinated visitors remains a significant barrier. This policy will also apply to children under the age of 18 and those who are participating in a formally approved UK COVID-19 vaccination clinical trial. These modifications will take effect at 4 a.m. BST on Monday, July 19th.

Arrivals from countries and territories on the Amber List who are not fully vaccinated will be subjected to a day 2 and day 8 test, as well as a ten-day quarantine. Non-fully vaccinated travellers returning from amber countries and territories can still use the test to release scheme to minimise their quarantine stay.

Red List:

The following nations will been added to the red list because they pose a significant public health risk to the UK due to known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under research, or very high COVID-19 prevalence in their country or territory:

  • Cuba
  • Indonesia
  • Myanmar
  • Sierra Leone

Visitors who have transited through or been in these countries in the past ten days will be denied entrance into the UK. Only British and Irish citizens, as well as those with resident rights (including long-term visa holders), will be allowed to enter, and they will be required to stay for ten days in a government-approved facility.

Those allowed to enter from these countries will be expected to self-isolate in a managed quarantine hotel, submit valid notification of a negative test result prior to travel, and take a test on days 2 and 8 after their arrival, regardless of vaccination status.

Regardless of where they are coming from, all arrivals must take a pre-departure test and fill out a passenger locator form before travelling to England.

WTTC senior vice president Virginia Messina commented on Bulgaria’s move from the green to the amber list, saying:

“This will throw summer holidays into disarray for tens of thousands of people. Businesses given the lifeline of holidays to the Balearics will also be left floundering as bookings collapse and customers clamour for refunds, piling on further financial pressure.

“There may be some good news with Croatia and Bulgaria moving up the scale and being added to the green list. But the overall impact is one of confusion, which will only deter more Brits from holidaying abroad as the summer season slips away.”


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