Latest Travel Advice

post 17th May traffic light system explained

International travel resumes for people in England today, with a new ‘traffic light’ system enabling quarantine-free travel to a select number of destinations also know as the ‘green list’.

Flights are also allowed to a number of ‘amber list’ countries, which require a ten-day quarantine on return.

It is not advised that you travel to a ‘red list’ country.

Below we have outlined exactly what each traffic light means and the procedures you need to follow when visiting those countries. 

This information initially appeared on the following government webpage: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england

Covid-19 testing

Green List

This section tells you what you will have to do if you travel to England from a country or territory on the green list. You must only have been in or travelled through a green list country or the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in the previous 10 days.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated.

Before travel to England

Before you travel to England you must:

On arrival in England

You must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive.

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.

If you have been in a country or territory on the red or amber list

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the red list rules.

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the amber list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, and have not visited a country on the red list, you must follow the amber list rules.

Read about making a transit stop in an amber or red list country or territory.

Countries on the watchlist or moving to amber

If conditions change in a country or territory, it can be moved from the green list to the amber or red list. If that is likely to happen, this will normally be flagged in the green watchlist column in the table below. If there is a sudden change in conditions, a country or territory may be moved between lists without warning.

Amber List

What you must do if you have been in an amber country or territory in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated.

Before travel to England

Before you travel to England you must:

On arrival in England

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

Read about quarantine and taking COVID-19 tests.

You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

Travel within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test or quarantine on arrival in England if you are travelling within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, (the Common Travel Area), and you have not been outside of the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days.

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the red list rules.

Read about making a transit stop in a red list country or territory.

Countries on the watchlist or moving to red

If conditions change in a country or territory, it can be moved from the amber list to the red list. If that is likely to happen, this will normally be flagged in the Amber watchlist column in the table below. If there is a sudden change in conditions, a country or territory may be moved between lists without warning.

The amber list is not exhaustive. If a country or territory is not on this list, you should not assume that it is a green or red list country or territory. Countries and territories are only green or red if they appear on the green or red list.

Red List

What you must do if you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated.

Before travel to England

Before you travel to England you must:

  • take a COVID-19 test
  • book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 tests
  • complete a passenger locator form

On arrival in England

On arrival in England you must:

Transit stops in amber or red list countries

When you arrive in England you need to follow the rules for the highest risk country or territory that you have been in or passed through in the previous 10 days. That can include transit stops.

A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off the same part of the transport in which you are travelling. It can apply to ships, trains or flights. Your ticket should show if a stop is a transit stop.

The rules of a country or territory that you make a transit stop in could apply if:

  • new passengers get on and are able to mix with you
  • you or other passengers get off the transport you are on and mix with other people, then get on again

Making a transit stop would not affect what you have to do on arrival in England if, during the stop:

  • no new passengers, who are able to mix with you, get on
  • no-one on-board gets off and mixes with people outside
  • passengers get off but do not get back on

Private vehicles or coaches travelling through amber or red list countries and territories

If you are travelling to England in a private vehicle, the rules of the countries and territories you drive through apply. For example, if you drive through an amber list country, then you must follow the amber list rules when you arrive in England.

This applies whether you stop in the country or territory or not. You need to record the countries and territories you drive through on your passenger locator form.

Transiting through airports in England

See what you need to do if you are transiting ‘landside’ or transiting ‘airside’ through England.

Travel within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test or quarantine on arrival in England if you are travelling within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, (the Common Travel Area), and you have not been outside of the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days.

Job and medical exemptions

Some people are exempt from some or all of the requirements:

Travelling abroad from England

You should not travel to amber list or red list countries or territories.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad

People in England who have had a full vaccine course (2 doses) can demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccination status for outbound international travel.

Other countries or territories determine their own border health rules, which may include COVID-19 vaccination status. Check the entry requirements for your destination before travelling.

Find out:

The government is working with the devolved administrations to ensure this facility is available to everyone across the UK.

Below are some great resources which can you can download and share within your organisation to get every one up to speed and navigate business travel during these times.

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