Going on holiday abroad now depends on which list your destination falls under – with categories forming a “traffic light” system of green, amber and red.
Some holidays overseas are now allowed, after restrictions were eased last month - but only to a select group of “green-listed” countries.
On June 3, the Government reduced the number of countries and territories British holidaymakers can travel to without the need to quarantine from 12 to 11, removing Portugal and adding it to the amber list. This came into force on Tuesday, June 8, at 4am.
Reviews of the lists are set to take place every three weeks, with the next announcement of the system in the UK planned for June 24 (this Thursday). Any updates would then come into effect the following week – likely on Tuesday at 4am.
People coming from “green list” countries have to provide a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure and then pay for a PCR test on or before their second day back in the UK. You can see our full day-by-day checklist of holiday requirements, here.
Those returning from an “amber” country have to quarantine at home for 10 days. They have to take a pre-departure test and two PCR tests when back, on days two and eight.
It is hoped an announcement will also pave the way for vaccinated people to avoid quarantine and take fewer or no tests, by the end of July.
Britons returning from “red” countries must quarantine for 10 days in government-approved hotels at their own expense, as well as the pre-departure test and the two tests once back.
Telegraph Travel has crunched the numbers in the countries that are classified as green to reveal how they shape up for a summer holiday destination.
Population vaccinated (two doses): 78.91%
Cases per 1,000,000 over seven days: 4.37
Israel has joined Greece in setting a precedent for a ‘vaccination bubble’, which Cyprus is also hoping to get in on. All arrivals between the countries can dodge quarantine on arrival with proof of immunity. Israel will only accept vaccinated holidaymakers and requires a test for biological proof that visitors have been jabbed.
Population vaccinated: 100%
Cases per 1,000,000 over seven days: N/A
Gibraltar has the most comprehensive vaccination campaign of anywhere in the world – 100 per cent of the population has received both jabs (around three per cent turned down the jabs).
Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised Gibraltar’s rollout in the Commons after the Rock’s Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said the UK had “played a blinder” with its vaccination drive.
Bars and restaurants are open again in Gibraltar and face masks are only required on public transport. What’s more, British Airways has just launched flights from London City to Gibraltar, starting from June 25 – preempting The Rock’s place on the green list. It was also the last ‘quarantine free’ option in 2020.
Spain’s vaccination programme, however, is lagging way behind, along with the rest of Europe. The adult population in Spain is unlikely to be fully vaccinated until September.
Population vaccinated (two doses): 52.95%
Cases per 1,000,000 over seven days: 0
As of March 18, all Britons who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are allowed to travel to Iceland without being subject to PCR testing and quarantine. The exemption also applies to UK travellers who can provide valid proof of prior infection, others must enter quarantine.
“We are excited to safely reopen our borders to fully vaccinated British citizens, as well as those who are no longer susceptible to the virus,” says Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, Head of Visit Iceland.
“Tourism is a very valuable industry for Iceland, as it contributes to our economy and culture. With the support of approved vaccines, the targeted measures taken by Icelandic officials, experts, scientists, and the general population to continuously keep the infection rate down, as well as a focused reopening plan designed to keep the Icelandic people and tourists healthy, we are now able to safely extend an exemption to UK travellers.”
Previously, only citizens of the EU/EEA were allowed to enter the country with the following requirements: a negative PCR test prior to their departure to Iceland, a negative PCR test at the border followed by a five-day quarantine, and a third negative test after quarantine. Iceland has also maintained a policy of exempting those who have presented proof of vaccination or prior infections issued in the EU/EEA.
Population vaccinated (two doses): 8.21%
Cases per 1,000,000 over seven days: 0.25
New Zealand has been shut for foreign visitors for much of the past year and is unlikely to reopen to British travellers for some time. Progress had presented itself recently when a ‘travel bubble’ with neighbouring Australia was opened. However recently New Zealand temporarily stopped quarantine-free travel to Australia’s state of New South Wales following the discovery of two cases announced in Sydney.
Health department secretary Brendan Murphy said in January: “Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus. And it’s likely that quarantine will continue for some time.”
Population vaccinated (two doses): 4.22%
Cases per 1,000,000 over seven days: 0.37
Despite being deemed as ‘safe’ for travel and granted a place on the green list by the UK Government, Australia will remain closed to the majority of international arrivals until at least the start of 2022, the Government has said.
“We won’t be seeing borders flung open at the start of next year with great ease,” Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told The Australian, citing “uncertainties that exist not just in the speed of the vaccine rollout but also the extent of its effectiveness to different variants of Covid, the duration of its longevity and effectiveness.”
When international travel does restart in Australia, it is likely to begin with ‘bubbles’ shared with nations including Singapore, Japan, and Vietnam, Trade Minister Dan Tehan stated last week, a major blow to those who have been separated from their overseas loved ones for more than a year and counting.
Britain could form a travel bubble with Australia by the end of the year, according to the chief executive of Qantas, Alan Joyce.
However, if/when Britons are welcome, proof of a Covid-19 vaccination could be required.
Population vaccinated: 39.82%
Cases per 1,000,000 over seven days: 2.27
Short term visitors from anywhere in the world are not able to enter Singapore without prior permission
The remaining green list destinations
Entry to Brunei is severely restricted. Anyone seeking to enter or exit Brunei must apply for a permit from the Prime Minister’s Office at least 8 working days before the intended date of travel. See the Brunei Prime Minister’s Office website for further information, or contact the Brunei High Commission. Brunei has announced that travellers to Brunei will need to provide a negative Covid-19 RT PCR test on arrival, obtained within 72 hours of travel. Travellers who are given permission to enter Brunei will need to go into quarantine on arrival at a government designated facility (usually a local hotel).
The FCDO advice for the Faroe Islands reads: “All UK resident travellers to the Faroe Islands must have a special worthy purpose to enter in line with the Danish government’s stricter requirements.” All travellers aged 12 and over will be tested for Covid-19 on arrival and will be required to pay for the test, with a follow-up test on day six is recommended. Travellers should self-isolate until they have received the result of the follow-up test.
Current visitor restrictions mean tourists are not permitted to visit the Falkland Islands, including via cruise vessels. Any arrivals are expected to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands has restricted access and visitor permits are required.
Saint Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha
All arrivals must have had a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours prior to departing for St Helena. Arrivals are subject to compulsory quarantine for 14 days. There are no other entry restrictions in force and foreign nationals are permitted to enter St Helena provided they meet the immigration rules.
See the full list amber list, which includes most of Europe, the Caribbean and the USA.
The 50 hotel quarantine red list countries are:
- South Africa
- DR Congo
- United Arab Emirates (including Dubai)
- Cape Verde
- French Guiana
- The Philippines
- Sri Lanka
- Costa Rica
- Trinidad and Tobago