Grant Shapps reveals countries on UK's red and green lists
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May 17 is here and Britons are finally able to travel internationally again. The rules on travel depend on where you’re going, especially regarding what you must do when you arrive in the UK from abroad. England and Scotland are following a traffic light system which ranks countries red, amber or green. If you go to a country on the green list, you won’t need to quarantine on your return home. If you’re desperate to jet off to America, you’re probably desperate to know what the situation is. Is the USA on the green list for travel?
As of May 17, travel destinations are divided into three lists – the green, amber and red lists.
What list a country is on determines whether or not you can go there and what you’ll need to do when you get home.
Residents of Wales are being advised against all but “essential” travel and Northern Ireland still hasn’t relaxed its international travel ban.
In England and Scotland, non-essential international travel is only allowed if you’re visiting specific countries and territories, depending on whether they’re a green, amber or red country.
The difference between travelling to a country on the red list and green list is huge.
The Government advice warns: “You should not travel to red list countries or territories.”
If you have been in a red-list area in the last 10 days, you can only enter the UK if you are a UK or Irish national, or UK resident.
You would also need to book, pay for and take a COVID-19 test on days two and eight of your return, complete a passenger locator form, and isolate for 10 full days in a quarantine hotel upon arrival in England.
The quarantine hotel isn’t free either – you’ll need to book and pay in advance. It costs about £1,750 for one adult and £650 for an additional adult or child over 11.
If you don’t comply with the rules, you’ll face a £10,000 fine or could even be jailed.
Green list countries are safe to visit for a holiday, but it’s important to note that not all countries on the green list are open for tourism.
If you visit a country on the green list, you will have to take a COVID-19 test and have proof of a negative result, and then book and pay for a test for day two after your return.
You will also need to complete a passenger locator form, but you don’t need to quarantine unless your day two test is positive or NHS Test & Trace gets in touch and says so.
These rules apply to all travellers in the UK (although they might differ slightly for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), even if you’ve been vaccinated.
Is the USA on the green list for travel?
The USA is not on the green list for travel, it is on the amber list.
Amber sounds more lenient than red, but you should not be travelling to amber areas such as the USA, either.
Some companies are still offering holidays to amber countries but you’ll need to sort out your own Covid tests and quarantine at home for 10 days when you get back, even if you’ve had your vaccinations.
This means you cannot travel to the USA for non-essential reasons, but it is not illegal to do so from May 17.
The 12 countries and territories currently on the green list include:
- New Zealand
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Tristan de Cunha and Ascension Island
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