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


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

The UK government has released details of a new traffic light system for international travel. Countries are classified as green, amber and red based on factors such as the number of people vaccinated in that country and the rate of infection in the country.


What green, amber, red means

Green: To return to the UK you must take a pre-departure test in destination (type and time-frame TBA) and a PCR test from a government-approved provider on days 1 or 2 of arriving in the UK. No quarantine is required unless you test positive.

Amber: You must quarantine at home and take a PCR test on days 2 and 8 of your quarantine. The “test to release” on day 5 scheme still applies.

Red: You must quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days at your own expense. You must also take PCR tests on days 2 and 8 of your hotel quarantine.

Additionally a ‘green watchlist’ will be introduced to identify countries most at risk of moving from green to amber.

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

Handy table from Business Travel Association

What we still don’t know

  • Which countries are in each category – update due in early May
  • When international travel can resume – the Global Travel Taskforce is “hopeful” it will be from 17th May
  • Time frame for the pre-departure test in the destination
  • Test type for pre-departure test in the destination


What else is coming

  • Consideration of a digital travel certification system
  • Digital versions of passenger locator forms
  • A COVID-19 charter from 17 May setting out what is required of passengers and what their rights are while measures are in place


Where to get further information

Swifter, smarter, smoother travel. Let’s talk.

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