The travel industry has taken a real knock over the past 18 months as the trials and tribulations of the Coronavirus pandemic continue to leave its mark. Governments have recognised that international travel does need to resume but how do they reopen their borders without putting their citizens at risk. Some countries have completely closed their borders to foreign visitors and have kept them shut since just after the virus arrived. New Zealand and Australia are good examples of this, others have kept their borders open sparingly to their immediate neighbours like countries within the EU. The UK has adopted a much criticised traffic light system where countries are graded according to 3 major factors - genomic sequencing capability, Covid-19 transmission risk and variant of concern transmission risk. 

A lot of this to your average Joe on the street though is complete jargon and confusing to say the least, no country in the world is able to match the UK's genomic sequencing capabilities and knowing where a variant of concern / highly transmissable variant is going to appear is pretty much impossible. This has resulted in a lot of countries being placed on either the Amber or Red list and only a few on the Green List. Each colour has its own rules that a traveller has to abide by. Here is an overview of what your travel requirements are going to each of these countries.

Green list countries are pretty much what the UK government considers are the safest to travel to. There are not many of them at present and they do seem to change regularly but the hope is that as the vaccine roll out across the globe continues to gather momentum this list will continue to grow. Whichever country you are going to it is important to check to see what their entry requirements are. For those returning to the UK you would have to do the following:

- Take a pre departure Covid 19 test at least 3 days before you depart to travel back to the UK. 

- Fill out a passenger locator form which can be filled out online on the gov.uk website 

- When you arrive back in the UK you will need to take a Covid PCR test 2 days after arriving back, there is no need for you to self isolate on return. For a list of government approved suppliers 

Amber list countries, whilst the government advises against travelling to them are still being frequented by a lot of UK travellers. Presently, the majority of European countries are on the amber list. Amber list countries do not have any variants of concern but generally have a higher level of infection than what the UK government is comfortable with its citizens being exposed to.

Once again it is important to check what the entry requirements are for entering the country. Presently the general trend seems to be either proof of a double vaccination and / or a negative covid PCR test taken 72 or less prior to travel. Please note that these tests have to be taken privately and you cannot use the NHS PCR tests for doing this.

When you return to the UK you will be required to do the following:

- Take a pre departure Covid 19 test at least 3 days before you depart to travel back to the UK. 

- Fill out a passenger locator form which can be filled out online on the gov.uk website 

- When you arrive back in the UK you will need to self isolate at home. After 2 days and 8 days you will be required to take a PCR test. Once you have received a negative result on your second test you are no longer required to isolate. Obviously if you test positive for Covid 19 then you will be required to continue to self isolate. A list of government approved suppliers are here : 

The government presently advises against travel to Red List countries unless the travel is absolutely vital. If it is vital then you need to follow all of the rules of entry to get into that country. For you to return to the UK you need to do the following:

- Take a pre departure Covid 19 test at least 3 days before you depart to travel back to the UK. 

- Fill out a passenger locator form which can be filled out online on the gov.uk website 

- When you arrive back in the UK you will be required to isolate in a designated hotel for 10 days and have 2 tests whilst isolating. These have to be booked through the government approved agency which can be done here 

RED
AMBER

GREEN