The European countries on UK’s ‘green’ travel lists and what that means
The European countries on UK’s ‘green’ travel lists and what that means. England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have published changes to their green list countries for travel. Here’s the situation for the nine countries covered by The Local, and for Brits living in those countries.
The UK is operating a traffic light system for travel giving each country a designation – red, amber or green – based on data including case numbers and vaccination rates in the country.
The UK government does not differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers, so these rules apply to all arrivals, even those who have had both doses of the vaccine.
On Thursday, governments in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland announced changes to their lists.
On the amber list are all the countries are Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
However things have changed for Spain’s Balearic islands, previously on the amber list, they have now been moved to the green list by England, Scotland and Northern Ireland – which means people who have visited the islands do not need to quarantine.
You can find the full list here.
People can travel from amber list countries for any reason – there is no need to prove that your trip is essential and entry is not limited to UK nationals or residents.
However, there are rules on testing and quarantine in place.
Have a negative Covid test to show at the border
Complete the passenger locator form – find that HERE
Quarantine for 10 days – this can be done in a location of their choice including the home of a friend or family member and there is no need to pay for a “quarantine hotel”.
Arrivals also have to pay for travel-testing kits which cost around £200 per person.
It should also be noted that the UK government advises against travel to amber list countries for leisure or tourism reasons. This isn’t a travel ban, but this kind of official advice can invalidate travel insurance, so check your policy before you travel.
There are some exemptions to the quarantine for compassionate reasons or for people in certain professions – find out more here.
Most countries require a negative Covid test for arrivals from the UK and some have a quarantine in place, so check carefully the rules of the country you are travelling to or from.
On the subject of vaccinated travellers, a spokesman for the British Department of Transport told
UK media: “In recognition of our successful domestic vaccination programme, and as part of the Global Travel Taskforce’s checkpoint review, our intention is that later in the summer, arrivals who are fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine when travelling from amber list countries.
“We expect this to occur in phases, starting with UK residents.
“They will still be required to take a pre-departure test and a test on Day 2, and any positive results will be sequenced to continue to manage the risk of importing variants.
“At the same time, we intend to remove the guidance that people should not travel to amber countries. Pending decisions on whether under-18s should routinely be offered vaccination, we will also take clinical advice on whether regular testing can provide a safe alternative to quarantine for children accompanied by vaccinated adults.
“Further detail will be set out next month including the rules which will apply to children and those unable to be vaccinated, how we will operationalise this approach at the border and the dates on which these changes will come into effect.”
From this statement, it appears that fully vaccinated UK residents will not be required to quarantine, but fully vaccinated Brits resident in other European countries will.
However, transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, we’re now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from amber countries – showing a real sign of progress.”
There is no timescale for these changes. Asked earlier in the week if they will be in place by the beginning of August, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We’ll get there when it’s safe to do so.”
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Published the local.eseuroweekly news.com 25 June 2021