The latest changes to the traffic light lists for international travel to the UK have been announced by the Department for Transport.
The announcement revealed that seven countries would be upgraded to the green list, while two will plunge from amber to red.
Canada, the Azores, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Switzerland are all getting the green light; Montenegro and Thailand will move to the red list. The Scottish government announced the same changes to its own traffic light lists prior to the UK government’s announcement.
The Welsh Government has not yet confirmed whether it will make the same move.
Follow below for the latest travel updates:
Caution over international travel from UK makes it ‘more expensive, burdensome and uncertain’, says industry body
A spokesman for Airlines UK, the industry body representing UK-registered carriers, said the “small number of green destinations” is making international travel from the UK “more expensive, burdensome and uncertain compared to our neighbours”.
He went on: “Too many families are having to look over their shoulders for rule changes and pay through the nose for tests, with no sign from government that this will change.
“As has already happened across Europe, it’s time for a more proportionate system where tests are dropped for the fully-vaccinated and from destinations where Covid risks are low, with tougher measures targeted at a small number of high risk countries.”
Kate Ng26 August 2021 19:30
Government needs to address “the structural issues that are stopping people travelling”, says ABTA
The chief executive of ABTA – The Travel Association has reacted to the latest travel update.
In a statement, Mark Tanzer said: “The latest travel update provides some stability to international travel as well as reassurance for holidaymakers heading off to popular holiday destinations over the coming weeks.
“The Government now needs to focus its attention on sorting out some of the structural issues that are stopping people travelling and delaying the industry’s recovery. The UK may be leading the way on the vaccine rollout but it is lagging behind other countries when it comes to opening up international travel and making it easy for people to travel. The Government can and should do more to capitalise on the successful vaccine roll out in the UK – our neighbours across the channel have been able to travel without restriction for quite some time if they have been double vaccinated. The expensive testing regime is putting people off taking a holiday overseas and is unnecessarily onerous when people are returning from low-risk countries.
“We also need the Government to recognise the impact the pandemic has had on travel businesses and support them in the industry’s recovery. Travel agents, tour operators and travel management companies haven’t had access to the same level support as other industries yet their opportunity to trade their way out of the crisis remains severely restricted by the Government. The end of furlough is a real worry for many companies and the Government needs to provide financial support for the sector.”
The changes to the UK’s green, amber and red lists were announced earlier today.
Lucy Thackray26 August 2021 19:29
Which countries are on the red list?
Following this afternoon’s update to the UK’s green, amber and red travel lists, two countries – Thailand and Montenegro – are set to be added to the “high risk” red list from Monday 30 August.
While the two destinations were downgraded from amber to red, no destinations moved up from the red to the amber list.
But which destinations are high risk and what are the rules? Here’s everything you need to know:
Kate Ng26 August 2021 19:10
Which countries are on the green list?
Following this afternoon’s update to the UK’s green, amber and red travel lists, there are now 43 countries in total on the green list.
Those returning to the UK from these “safe” destinations, which carry a lower risk of Covid reimportation, can forgo self-isolation, but still have to present a negative Covid test before departure to the UK and a post-arrival PCR test within two days of entering the country.
Kate Ng26 August 2021 18:55
Tourist favourites Spain, Greece and Italy remain on amber list
Most of Europe’s tourism big hitters failed to go green in the government’s latest update of international travel rules, announced today at 5.30pm.
Mainland Spain, Italy and Greece all remained on the amber list in the latest reshuffle, which comes into effect at 4am on Monday 30 August.
Portugal, once the only mainstream holiday destination to achieve green status, also remains stuck on amber, necessitating 10 days of quarantine and two PCR tests for all unvaccinated adults returning to the UK.
Kate Ng26 August 2021 18:40
Travel industry despair at continued ‘traffic light’ caution
Travel industry bosses have reacted angrily to the latest round of changes to the “traffic light” travel rules, which were announced by the UK transport secretary at 5.30pm today.
While there is relief that key destinations – including some Caribbean islands and Morocco – have escaped the “red list,” airlines and holiday companies are dismayed that restrictions have not been eased more widely.
Our travel correspondent Simon Calder has the full story:
Kate Ng26 August 2021 18:20
Grant Shapps: Latest update ‘cautiously easing international travel’
Kate Ng26 August 2021 18:04
Thailand, Montenegro to move from amber to red list
Thailand and Montenegro will be added to the UK government’s travel red list from 4am on Monday, reflecting the increased case rates in these countries.
According to the DfT, the high rates of infection combined with lower levels of published genomic surveillance in Thailand and Montenegro mean that an outbreak of either new or existing variants cannot be easily identified before they are imported and seeded across the UK.
Passengers arriving in the UK from red list destinations must isolate for 10 days in a quarantine hotel and follow all necessary testing requirements.
Kate Ng26 August 2021 17:56
Canada, the Azores, Switzerland and others move to UK government’s green list
From 4am on Monday 30 August, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Switzerland and the Azores will be added to the UK’s travel green list.
The Department for Transport (DfT) said the risk that travel from these countries poses to public health in the UK is low.
Travellers from these destinations will not have to quarantine regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated, but will still need to take pre-departure and day 2 tests, as well as complete a passenger locator form.
Kate Ng26 August 2021 17:54
‘International travel remains challenging’ says Scottish cabinet secretary
Scotland’s cabinet secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson, said: “The latest changes are welcome for Scots with loved ones in Canada but once again show that international travel remains challenging.
“Any relaxations to travel restrictions have only been made possible due to the huge success of the Scottish Government’s domestic vaccination programme.
“It is vitally important we protect that progress through continued vigilance on importation, and we continue to urge caution given the risks caused by variants of concern.”
Kate Ng26 August 2021 17:45