Stop, wait, go! Traffic lights system for international travel

INSIGHT

Stop, wait, go! Traffic lights system for international travel

This blog was updated on 19th July 2021 following announcements from the government

In the UK, a traffic light system is in place for international travel. Countries are categorised as green, amber and red based on what travellers need to do when returning to the UK. Countries are classified based on factors such as the number of people vaccinated in that country and the rate of infection in the country.

A country's inclusion in the green, amber or red list applies to what people must do to return back to the UK.

Before booking, travellers must check what is required of them to visit the country they're heading to. Each country has its own rules and stipulations decided by their own governments. Check requirements on the FCDO’s website or our Flight Centre Travel Hub.

Some people are exempt from requirements based on their job – see the full list here.

What countries are on each list?  

View the government list here. The list will be reviewed every three weeks.

These statuses do not have any reference to the FCDO status for that country – this should be looked at separately if required.

The UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands make up the Common Travel Area and require no testing or quarantine.

What’s required for each category

 
GREEN LIST

Before arriving into UK 

  1. Book your COVID-19 test for day 2 of when you come back.
  2. Fill in the passenger locator form – this can now be done online. Make sure you have your passport/document details, travel dates/times and COVID-19 test booking reference. Fill in the form here.
  3. A test must be taken in the 3 days before your flight back to the UK. For example if you’re flying directly to the UK on Friday, you must take the test on the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. For more information visit this page.

When you're back home

  1. Take your pre-booked COVID test on day 2 after arriving in the UK.

 

AMBER LIST

Double vaccinated travellers

Before arriving in the UK

  1. Book your COVID-19 test for day 2 of when you come back to the UK. 
  2. Fill in the passenger locator form – this can now be done online. Make sure you have your passport/document details, travel dates/times and COVID-19 test booking reference. Fill in the form here.
  3. A test must be taken in the 3 days before your flight back to the UK. For example if you’re flying directly to the UK on Friday, you must take the test on the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. For more information visit this page.

When you're back in the UK 

  1. Take your pre-booked PCR test on day 2. 

Exemption

If you're travelling back from France - you must follow the rules directly below and quarantine for 10 days. 

 

Travellers with one or no vaccination, or any traveller coming back from France 

Before arriving in the UK

  1. Book your COVID-19 tests for day 2 and day 8 of when you come back to the UK. 
  2. Book your Test to Release test for day 5 if you want to leave self-isolation early.
  3. Know where you will be self-isolating for the required 10 day period.
  4. Fill in the passenger locator form – this can now be done online. Make sure you have your passport/document details, travel dates/times and COVID-19 test booking reference. Fill in the form here.
  5. A test must be taken in the 3 days before your flight back to the UK. For example if you’re flying directly to the UK on Friday, you must take the test on the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. For more information visit this page.

When you're in quarantine

  1. Take your pre-booked COVID test on day 2 and day 8 after arriving.
  2. If you’re testing to release, take that test on day 5.

 

RED LIST

Before arriving in the UK

  1. Book your hotel quarantine package which includes two PCR tests. You can only book your managed quarantine hotel within a 14-day window before arrival. Book here. For more information on quarantining visit this page.
  2. Fill in the passenger locator form – this can now be done online. Make sure you have your passport/document details, travel dates/times, COVID-19 test booking reference and hotel quarantine booking reference. Fill in the form here.
  3. A test must be taken in the 3 days before your flight back to the UK. For example if you’re flying directly to the UK on Friday, you must take the test on the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. For more information visit this page.

When you're in quarantine

  1. Take your pre-booked COVID test on day 2 and day 8 of your hotel quarantine period. Test to Release option is not available for red list countries.

Where can I get tests?

We advise using our testing partners – read more here.

 

Vaccine passports in the UK

Don't leave it until the day of travel to arrange your vaccine passport/certificate. Look at what you need to do days or weeks in advance. 

England: The NHS COVID Pass shows your COVID-19 vaccination details or test results. It can be accessed on the NHS app - this is different to the Test and Trace app. Download for Apple and Android. Travellers can also use the online NHS COVID Pass service or request a NHS COVID Pass letterMore info on the NHS COVID Pass can be found here

Scotland: You can request an online or paper version of your vaccination status here.

Wales: Get your NHS COVID Pass online, or by paper. Find out more information here.

Northern Ireland: Residents must apply for proof of vaccination. Find out more information here.

 

Where to get further information

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