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England Establishes New International Travel Rules

Starting 17th May, foreign leisure travel will resume, and new international travel regulations will go into effect in England. A new system was announced on 7th May by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. It will include three different lists identified as ‘green’, ‘amber’ and ‘red’. Countries and territories will be sorted into one of these three lists. These classifications establish the restrictions that people will face when from these countries and will be reviewed every three weeks.

The Green List

People can visit destinations on England’s green list without having to quarantine upon their return. There are 12 countries currently on the green list, including:

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Iceland
  • Israel and Jerusalem
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira)
  • Singapore
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Although quarantine will no longer be required, travellers will still have to take COVID-19 tests, both before returning to England and within two days afterward. Even when arriving from a country or territory on the green list, anyone who has been in a country on the amber or red lists within the previous 10 days must follow the corresponding restrictions (eg quarantine).

business travel

The Amber List

People are advised to avoid leisure travel to destinations on the amber and red lists. In the event that travel is necessary, additional restrictions will continue to apply upon arriving in England.

When arriving from a country or territory on the amber list, travellers will be required to quarantine for 10 days and take three COVID-19 tests. These tests must be completed:

  • Before departure from a foreign country or territory
  • Within two days of arrival in England
  • Eight days after arrival in England

For a complete list of countries and territories on the amber list, click here.

The Red List

No one travelling from a country or territory on the red list will be allowed entry into England unless they are British, an Irish national or have residence rights in the UK. Anyone arriving from a red list country or territory must adhere to the same testing requirements as those arriving from amber list areas. In addition, a 10-day quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel will also be required.

For a list of countries and territories currently on the red list, click here.

More Information

Since Shapps’ announcement, Scotland has announced that it will implement a similar system. As of 17th May, its green list will include the same countries and territories as England.

It’s important to understand that these rules only apply to those arriving in the UK. People travelling abroad must continue to adhere to any local restrictions—such as mandatory quarantine—upon reaching their foreign destination.

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