All overseas holidays are operating under a “traffic light system” this year – so which countries are now on the “green” list?
The UK is currently using a traffic light system for foreign travel, which categorises countries as red, amber or green based on their perceived COVID-19 risk status.
Currently, there are 36 destinations listed as green, including Croatia, Germany, Iceland and Madeira.
In this article, we will briefly cover what you need to know about travelling to a green list country, with information on COVID tests, entry requirements and travel insurance.
What COVID tests do I need to take to visit a country on the green list?
Anyone travelling from the UK to a country on the green list must take two COVID tests:
- A pre-departure COVID test, taken 72 hours before you are due to travel home. This can be either a lateral flow test or a PCR test. You may not be allowed to board a flight if you do not have evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result.
- A PCR test taken within 48 hours of arriving back into the UK
On top of this, each country will have its own entry requirements with many of them now demanding some combination of:
- evidence of full vaccination (via the NHS app)
- evidence of recent recovery from COVID
- evidence of a recent negative PCR test result
Which countries are on the green list?
The full list of counties that are currently on the UK’s green list, or green watchlist, are:
- Anguilla (green watchlist)
- Antartica/British Antarctic Territory (green watchlist)
- Antigua and Barbuda (green watchlist)
- Barbados (green watchlist)
- Bermuda (green watchlist)
- British Indian Ocean Territory (green watchlist)
- Cayman Islands (green watchlist)
- Croatia (green watchlist)
- Dominica (green watchlist)
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Grenada (green watchlist)
- Hong Kong
- Israel (green watchlist)
- Madeira (green watchlist)
- Mostserrat (green watchlist)
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands (green watchlist)
- South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Ascension and Tristan de Cunha
- Taiwan (green watchlist)
- Turks and Caicos Islands (green watchlist)
What is the ‘green watchlist’?
The countries that are listed as being on the ‘green watchlist’ are the ones that are most at risk of being downgraded to the amber list at short notice.
Are all of the green list countries open to holidaymakers from the UK?
A number of the countries on the green list are closed to British arrivals, including Australia and New Zealand.
What is the difference between a green list and an amber list country?
There is no difference between travelling to a green list country and an amber list country – as long as you are double vaccinated.
There are differences when you travel home, however. If you are arriving from an amber list country, you must take a COVID test before flying home, and a test within 48 hours of returning.
It is always best to check the latest Foreign Office advice for the country you are planning to travel to, however, as most countries have different entry requirements based on your vaccination status.
When will the next traffic light system update be?
Traffic light system updates are due every three weeks, meaning the next update should be the week commencing 23rd August, with any changes coming into effect on the 29th of August.
Can countries move from the green list to the amber list?
In previous traffic light system updates, many destinations have been moved from the green list to the amber list, including the Balearic Islands.
Can countries move from the amber list to the green list?
The UK government moved many countries from the amber list to the green list on August the 8th, including Austria, Germany and Slovenia.
Can countries move from the green list to the red list?
Well, this hasn’t happened yet – although it is possible if a country was to experience a sudden, significant outbreak of a variant of concern.
So, which countries on the green list ARE open to British holidaymakers?
- Anguilla. Strict entry requirements remain in force with only fully vaccinated travellers being allowed to enter the country, providing they have permission and can submit a negative PCR test result from three to five days before arrival.
- Antigua and Barbuda. Restrictions such as screening on arrival and testing apply to all visitors regardless of vaccination status, and it is the decision of the Quarantine Authority as to who must quarantine on arrival.
- Australia. Australia’s government has said that it will remain clise to the majority of international arrivals until at least the start of 2022.
- Austria. Travellers from the UK are not currently permitted to enter Austira, although there are some exceptions to this rule, including those who are travelling for business reasons. If you are entitled to enter, then you must complete a Pre-travel Clearance Form, a negative PCR test result and quarantine for ten days (wiith the option of ending the quarantine early under the test to release scheme)
- Barbados. All travellers from the UK muist present a valid COVID PCR negative test result on arrival, taken no more than three days before the arrival of your flight. Rules then vary depending on vaccination status.
- Bermuda. Need to apply for a Bermuda COVID-19 Travel Authorisation one to three days before departure. If you are not vaccinated you will need to quarantine at a designated quarantine hotel for 14 days at your own expense.
- British Antarctic Territory. If you really want to holiday in the Antarctic, then you need a valid permit from the FCDO in London.
- Brunei. Entry to Brunei is severly restricted, with anyone wishing to enter having to apply for a permit from the Prime Minister’s Office at least 8 working days before the intended date of travel.
- Bulgaria. British visitors to Bulgaria must have proof of a negative PCR test ort full vaccination. There is also random screening in palce for UK arrivals.
- Caymen Islands. Airports in the Caymen Islands are all closed to scheduled inbound and outbound flights until further notice.
- Croatia. British arrivals to Croatia must present a negative antigen test no older than 48 hours, or a PCR tests not older than 72 hours, or proof of vaccination.
- Dominica. Holidaymakers are welcome, regardless of their vaccination status, but there are rules to follow. Passengers must complete an online questionnaire 24 hours before arrival, and have a PCR swab test up to 72 hours before arrival.
- Falkland Islands.Tourists are not currently permitted to visit the Falkland Islands, including cruise ships.
- Faroe Islands. Fully vaccinate Britons can travel here without the need to quarantine, but mmust take a PCR tests on day four of their truip. Unvaccinated travellers have to self-isolate for 10 days.
- Germany. Germany has designated the UK a ‘high-incidence’ area since July the 7th, but British holidaymakers can enter if they are fully vaccinated. Children under 12 who are not vaccinated, can enter if the travel with at least one fully vaccinated parent and present proof of a negative test result.
- Gibraltor. Welcoming both vaccinated and non vaccinated travellers from the UK. If you have not had both vaccine dosses then you must have proof of a negative lateral flow test, and take another COVCID test within 24 hours of arrival, and another on the 5th day (if you are going to be there for more than a week).
- Grenada. Persons providing proof of full vaccination will be required to quarantine for up to 48 hours, pending a negative result from a PCR test that is administered on entry and paid for in advance.
- Hong Kong. All flights from the UK are currently prohibited.
- Iceland. If you can prove you are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID then you only need to quarantine until you recieve the result of you test on arrival.
- Israel. Will only accept vaccinated holidaymakers and you must also be tested on arrival to prove that you have been jabbed.
- Latvia. Travellers must present evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding the plane, or an antigen test taken not earlier than 48 hours before crossing the Latvian border.
- Madeira. Unvaccinated travellers must present a negative PCR test on arrival, but those who have been fully vaccinated don’t need to.
- Malta. Only fully vaccinated people can travel to Malta from the UK.
- Monserrat. All travel to Monserrat is via Antigua so you must comply with the Antiguan entry requirements (see above).
- Norway. Travellers from the UK must present a negative COVID test certificate upon arrival – either PCR or rapid antigen. You are also required to stay in a quarantine hotel in Norway for 10 days.
- Pitcairn Islands. The borders on Pitcairn are still closed to all visitors.
- Romania.The UK is currently on Rumania’s red list, meaning you must quarantine for 14 days unless you can show proof of full vaccination.
- Saint Helena, Ascension & Tristan de Cunha. All arrivals must have a negative COVID test result from within 72 hours of their departure. Arrivals must quarantine for 14 days.
- Singapore. Short term visitors from anywhere in the world are not allowed to enter Singapore without prior permission
- Slovakia. Open to all fully vaccinated passengers from the UK but you must register in advance of travel using the ‘Ehrancia’ form on the Slovak governments website. You will need to show proof of this at the border, and carry it with you during your stay in case authorities ask to see it.
- Slovenia. Slovenia stopped using its colour coded system for international arrivals on July the 15th. Instead, travellers from anywhere can now enter as long as they can provide either a negative PCR test result (no older than 72 hours), a rapide antigen test result within 48 hours of departyre, a positive PCR test result older than 10 days but not older than 6 months, or proof of full vaccination administered at least 14 days before.
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Restricted access with visitor permits required.
- Taiwan. Only residents are allowed into Taiwan at the moment, with anyone entering from the UK having to quarantine for 14 days (with the cost being covered by the authorities)
- Turks and Caicos Islands. Anyone arriving to Turks and Caicos has to obtain pre-travel authorisation via the Turks and Caicos Islands Assured Portal – including a negartive test result, proof of travel insurance with COVID cover and a health screen questionnaire.
- New Zealand. Has been shut to foreigh visitors for much of the past year and seems unlikely to reopen to British travellers for some time.