Stuck in Traffic: The UK’s Traffic Light Travel Guidelines Explained

If you have kept half an eye on the news over the last month, you will undoubtably have heard talk about the UK Government’s ‘Traffic light system’. This system was developed to categorise travel and holiday destinations into one of three colours: Red, Amber, and Green.

In this blog, we’ve gathered the latest rules and regulations to help you understand the system.

Green list

The green list, as you may have guessed, is the most relaxed of the three categories. This list is composed of 12 ‘low-risk’ destinations which people can travel to and return from with relative ease.

Those who wish to travel to green-listed countries are required to take one PCR test before departure, and an additional test within two days of arrival in the UK. Should these tests come back negative, no quarantine period will be necessary.

However, the traffic light system is only designed to show UK-based travel restrictions and advice. This means that many countries, while on the green list, may not be allowing travel from the UK. This includes countries such as Australia and New Zealand, which are not currently welcoming international travel.

Click here to view the countries that are currently on the Government’s Green List

Amber List

The amber list is the most populous of the three lists, including popular holiday destinations such as Spain, France, and the USA. Travel to the destinations on this list is legal, but there are various rules and regulations that you must abide by when returning to the UK.

Before you return to the UK, you must first take a COVID-19 PCR test before you fly. You will also need to book and pay for Day 2 and 8 testing kits to be taken after your arrival in the UK. Lastly, you will need to complete a passenger locator form, which helps the government to identify if you or someone around you may have been exposed to COVID.

Upon your return to the UK, you will be required to quarantine at home for 10 days while you complete your Day 2 and 8 tests (even if your test results come back negative).

Click here to view the countries that are currently on the Government’s Amber List

Red List

The red list includes the rest of the countries and territories that are not featured on either of the previous lists. Travel to these countries is almost entirely prohibited, and you will only be allowed to fly to England from these destinations if you are a UK national, or if you have residence rights.

Prior to your return to the UK, the rules are largely similar to those for the amber list. However, instead of only booking 2 and 8 day tests, you must book a 10-day quarantine hotel package in addition. This quarantine period will begin from the day you arrive in the UK and will last 10 days regardless of test results.

Click here to view the countries that are currently on the Government’s Red List

More on Day 2 and 8 Testing:

You can find more information on Day 2 and 8 Testing on our blog: Everything you need to know about Day 2 and Day 8 Covid-19 testing

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