UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Thursday announced revisions to the green, amber and red lists on the UK traffic light system for overseas travel.
Greece and a number of countries in Europe have remained on the UK’s amber list. Travelers entering the UK from an amber-colored country are required to take a pre-departure test, quarantine for 10 days after they return and take two PCR tests (on day 2 and day 8) whilst in self-isolation.
With regard to the UK’s updated green list for travel, the following destinations have been added: Malta, Madeira, the Balearic Islands, several UK overseas territories, and Caribbean islands, including Barbados.
According to Shapps, people entering the UK from these destinations do not have to quarantine from 4am on June 30.
Eritrea, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mongolia, Tunisia and Uganda were added to the UK’s red list, as they “present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of Covid-19”.
Quarantine-free travel for the double-jabbed entering UK from amber countries
The transport secretary also announced that the UK government has plans to reopen international travel and remove the self-isolation period for amber list countries for those who are fully vaccinated. Full details will be announced next month.
“We’re moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, we’re now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from amber countries – showing a real sign of progress,” Shapps said.
The change is expected to occur in phases, starting with UK residents. However, travelers from amber countries will still be required to take a pre-departure test and a test on day 2, and any positive results will be sequenced to continue to manage the risk of importing variants.
The UK also intends to remove the guidance that people should not travel to amber countries.
Click here for all ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’ list rules for entering England.
Germany calls for quarantine on arriving British travellers in the EU
The UK’s revised traffic light system for overseas travel came one day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on other EU countries to impose quarantine restrictions on British arrivals to slow the spread of the Delta variant.
“In our country, if you come from Great Britain, you have to go into quarantine – and that’s not the case in every European country, and that’s what I would like to see,” Merkel told Germany’s parliament.
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) on Thursday expressed concern and urges against EU states reimposing such restrictions on arriving British holidaymakers.
“With more than 60 percent of British adults now fully vaccinated, they should be able to enjoy quarantine-free travel to the EU,” WTTC Senior Vice President Virginia Messina said.
According to Messina, quarantines are not the most effective measure to curb the spread of Covid-19 and “there is no need to reintroduce them” especially given the increasing vaccination rates across Europe.
“Imposing an EU-wide quarantine would extinguish any hopes of bringing back significant summer travel which is a critical season for most European markets. This would significantly damage these countries’ economies, such as Germany where the UK is the fourth largest source market,” she said.
Messina added that imposing quarantine restrictions on British travelers will also deal a significant economic blow to countries such as Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Malta and Italy where the UK is also the biggest source market.
Italy, like Germany, has resumed quarantines for inbound British travellers.