Green List Countries Uncovered: The ones you can actually visit from 17 May 2021 onward
The information in this article applies to English travellers, and is up to date as of 8 June 2021.
The UK’s travel green list has been announced, but are you still wondering exactly where and when you can travel? On 17 May international travel resumed, which means Brits returning from countries on the green list will no longer have to self-isolate. They will, however, be required to take a PCR test. The list will be reviewed every three weeks, with adjustments made based on the perceived risk of travel (and the potential spread of coronavirus) between countries.
What countries are on the green list and where can I travel to now?
Currently there are 12 countries listed on the UK travel green list countries but which ones are actually open for Brits to enter? And which ones are really accessible for tourists?
Green List Countries, and open to UK travellers:
Green List Countries, but currently closed for UK travellers:
- New Zealand
Green List Countries off the tourist trail:
- Faroe Islands – lying between Norway and Iceland these volcanic isles lay off the regular tourist trail.
- Falklands – this natural paradise east of Patagonia is certainly off grid
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Saint Helena
- Ascension Island
- Tristan da Cunha
These isles may be beautiful but they are incredibly remote.
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How does the traffic light system work?
Travellers who want to go to the green list countries must take a PCR test before they depart, plus a test on or before day two of their arrival back into England. If the test is negative there’ll be no need to quarantine on return or take any additional tests.
This list includes some of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations such as Italy, France, Greece and, most recently, Portugal.
Those travelling back from amber list countries must quarantine for 10 days on arrival back in England. They must also take a test before departure, and a PCR test on day two and day eight of quarantine. There is also an option to test on day five, which will end isolation early with the ‘Test to Release’ scheme.
How does the Test to Release scheme work?
Under the Test to Release scheme you can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test. If the result is negative, you can end your quarantine, but you can’t take a test until you’ve been in England for 5 days having returned from an amber list country. This list contains all the private test providers you can call to book your test.
It’s advised you do not travel to red list countries or territories for leisure purposes. Those travelling from countries on the red list must stay in a quarantine hotel for ten days on their return, which needs to be pre-booked in advance of their holiday. They must also complete a pre-departure test and PCR test on day two and day eight.
How much does a PCR test cost?
PCR tests currently cost between £65 and £160, however there is talk that ministers are looking at reducing the price to just £45.
What if I live in Scotland or Wales?
For Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has announced that a traffic light system will come into effect from 24 May and, similar to England, then be reviewed every 4 weeks.
While an announcement on international travel for those who live in Wales is yet to be made by the Welsh Government, overseas travel rules are mainly the responsibility of the UK Government as they negotiate travel corridors, so it shouldn’t be too long before an official announcement is made.