What are the rules for travelling to green, amber and red list countries?

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed the government may possibly scrap quarantine for people travelling back from "amber" list countries - if they've had two doses of the Covid vaccine..

UK travel bosses are calling on the government to ease travel restriction rules so people can holiday abroad this summer.

What is the traffic light list?

Countries are classed as green, amber or red - with different rules about quarantine and Covid tests.

The rules are broadly the same for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

You do not have to quarantine after visiting green list countries, although there are only a few of these.

Countries on the red list are considered the highest risk, and travel to and from the UK is strictly limited.

Most popular tourist destinations are on the amber list - the government currently advises that people should not holiday in these countries. Any tourist returning from an amber list country currently has to self-isolate for 10 days on their return to the UK.

UK travel bosses are unhappy with this system, which they say is damaging their industry. They say it is "now or never" to save this year's summer season, both for holidaymakers and to protect jobs.

Ministers review the traffic light lists every three weeks. The next update is due on 28 June.

Could double-vaccinated people be able to travel without quarantining?

Ministers say they're looking at removing the need to quarantine for travellers who have had two Covid jabs.

At the moment people in England can prove their vaccination status by requesting an NHS Covid pass via the NHS website or the NHS app.

However, under-16s can't get an NHS Covid Pass, because children aren't currently being vaccinated.

Unless another solution is found, children travelling abroad would therefore still need to show proof of a negative test before returning to the UK, and may also have to test and self-isolate.

Who decides if a country is green, amber, or red?

All countries go onto the amber list unless there is specific evidence to suggest they should be on the green or red lists.

The decision is taken by ministers, and informed by their advisers, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), which looks at the Covid situation in each country.

The lists are reviewed every three weeks. A country can be moved between lists at short notice.

What are the rules for green list countries?

If you're returning from a green list country, you must:

You do not need to quarantine unless your day-two test is positive, or NHS Test & Trace says you have travelled with someone who tested positive.

What are the rules for amber list countries?

The vast majority of countries are on the amber list.

The government advises people not to travel to amber destinations, although the holiday industry has accused it of sending out mixed signals.

If returning from an amber list country, you must:

It may be possible to end quarantine early in England if you pay for an additional test under the test-to-release scheme.

What are the rules for red list countries?

Red list countries are those the UK government says are at the highest risk from Covid, and should not be visited "except in the most extreme of circumstances".

Dozens of countries are on the red list, including India, Pakistan, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa.

If you have been in one in the last 10 days, you can only enter the UK if you are a UK or Irish national, or UK resident.

If you're returning from a red list country, you must:

Rates are:

  • 10 days (11-nights) for one adult - £1,750
  • Additional adult (or child over 11) - £650
  • Children aged five to 11 - £325

Where can I get a Covid test for travel from?

Before returning to the UK you will need to pay for a private test with high accuracy, such as a PCR or antigen test. Further tests are also required after you return.

In the UK tests can be bought from government approved providers. You can also access lists of providers in some destinations through UK government travel pages.

Failure to provide proof of a negative test before travelling to England could result in a £500 fine.

Are there flights from red list countries?

A limited number of direct flights from red list countries are operating, as part of a trial at Heathrow and Birmingham airports.

The airports have "dedicated facilities" to keep red list passengers separate from other arrivals, and then transfer them to quarantine accommodation.

Is travel insurance valid for amber and red list countries?

Anyone planning to visit an amber or red list country should check their proposed destination on the FCO country advice pages.

If the FCO advises against travel, insurance would almost certainly be invalid.

If not, the cost of medical treatment abroad would be covered, usually including Covid.

But few policies, including those for green list countries, will cover your costs if you contract Covid and can't fly home.

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