BREAKING: Full details of amber list requirements from 19 July & industry reaction

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Today Grant Shapps finally announced some sensible steps to allow those fully vaccinated to travel with fewer restrictions.

From 19 July, those UK citizens/residents who are 14 days or longer since being fully vaccinated in the UK will now not have to abide by the same rules for an amber country. This will also apply to children under 18.

This will apply to all children regardless of whether they are travelling with adults or not. Children aged between five and 10 will only have to take a day two test, and children aged four and under will continue to be exempt from all testing and quarantine requirements.

Grant Shapps

Fully vaccinated adults will need to:

  • Take a pre-departure test before returning to the UK
  • Take a day 2 test on or before day 2 after they arrive (Day 0 is arrival day)
  • No longer need to quarantine.
  • No longer need to take a day 8 test.

If you are not fully vaccinated you will have to:

  • Take a pre-departure test before returning to the UK
  • Take a day 2 test on or before day 2 after they arrive (Day 0 is arrival day)
  • Quarantine for 10 days
  • Take a day 8 test.
  • You can be released earlier if you take a day 5 test and it’s negative. 

It is expected that non-UK nationals will be allowed the same exemption later in the summer when they have sorted out the logisitics of accepting foreign vaccine certificates. 

At the same time the government would drop its advice against travelling to amber-list countries from 19 July. This has caused a lot of issues with insurance companies as some would not insure any amber countries and some went on FCDO advice instead. However, what we don’t know is whether the FCDO will relax its advice on more amber list countries as insurance would still be an issue if it doesn’t.

I would expect that airline schedules will ramp back up again over the next week to many countries that are amber, but there are still a number that have significant entry requirements for Brits so make sure you check those before booking. The easiest place to find the full information is the UK government website here. 

The airline industry has responded with mixed feelings:

British Airways’ CEO and Chairman Sean Doyle said:

“We’re pleased to see this common sense approach which is already working safely for many other countries, but there is more work to do. While the quarantine requirement for ‘amber’ countries is being lifted for fully vaccinated UK travellers, the Government needs to quickly extend this to all vaccinated travellers, agree a reciprocal deal with the US, add more countries to the ‘green’ list and reduce the need for unnecessary, expensive tests. This will allow the UK to catch up with other countries and send a message that Global Britain is now, finally, open again.”

Commenting on the removal of quarantine for Amber countries, Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO said:

“This move means Europe is turning Green for people who are fully vaccinated. We have always said that vaccination is the key to unlocking travel and now millions will finally be able to reunite with family and loved ones abroad or take that long-awaited trip this summer.

“But with unnecessary testing staying in place, more needs to be done. We do not want to see a return to flying being a preserve of the rich and expensive testing could sadly make travel out of reach for some this summer.

“easyJet is ready and able to ramp up – flying millions of seats to 85 Green and Amber list destinations this summer. We look forward to playing our part in getting the country flying again.”


21 Comments on "BREAKING: Full details of amber list requirements from 19 July & industry reaction"

  1. Just a matter of time until we’re at 50k+ cases a day, at that point I imagine many countries will start to close to us anyway… making the traffic light system sort of irrelevant.

  2. Great to see FCDO advice starting to change for some popular holiday destinations. This will give travellers further confidence to book holiday

  3. Graeme Bell | 9 July 2021 at 8:01 am |

    So I have been fully vaccinated with Moderna in the USA and I’m UK citizen now living backin the UK. By reading this I cannot avoid 10 days quarantine as my cert is not recognised and I cannot upload on NHS app. ??

    • Correct. You must be vaccinated in the U.K. It will eventually change to include people vaccinated abroad but it will be a bit later.

    • It’s the same everywhere, I’m afraid. I have been vaccinated in the UK but my certificate is not recognised in the Netherlands….

  4. Graeme Bell | 9 July 2021 at 8:20 am |

    So reading this a UK citizen with a foreign vaccine cert,(i was jabbed in the USA with Moderna and am now living back in UK) cannot travel or cannot take the same quarrantine benefits from Amber as i was not vaccinated in UK! This is not fair.

  5. Although I’m a British passport holder, I was unfortunate enough to be vaccinated in an EU country so according to the UK authorities I am not vaccinated in any meaningful sense. I’m puzzled by what “work” needs to be done, as in officials are “working to extend [the UK’s] approach to vaccinated passengers from important markets and holiday destinations, later this summer, such as the United States and the EU”.

    • It’s to do with recognition of certificates of vaccines and I suspect making a decision about which vaccines they will accept. The fact that most major countries have already managed to do this seems to have passed them by! They have had the last 6 months to do this but yet again have dragged their feet.

  6. Shapps said this morning that the system will be ‘managed’ by the airlines through their on-line booking systems. The process has not yet been devised and many of the airports close to holiday destinations in Europe do not have on-line booking facilities. Result – the usual herds in Malaga, Faro, Pisa, Florence airports etc., yet again the Government gpoing for a ‘good news’ headline policy change, without any consideration of the detail and the means which will allow it to be effectively safely and sensibly introduced. Blame will be laid on the airlines who will also have to cover the cost (impact on fares).

    • I think he means through submitting documents on line which BA already offers via VeriFly from most destinations in Europe. It’s not a great system so I can see there being queues if people don’t use it. On the plus side, if everyone uses it and staff at outstations are properly trained you can check in with no more than a few seconds longer than normal.

  7. Would this also include foreign students under 18 on child visas? If students have already done a whole year in the UK but returning?

    • It wasn’t 100% clear from the initial announcement although I would assume that a student would be resident here. I would check on the government website if there is any further definition of residents.

  8. Am I correct that when we land from Malta (green country) we can take our PCR test as soon as we land, rather than having to go back to take the test? Also, as I understand it, we can take either a PCR or a Rapid Antigen test before we leave Malta? It doesn’t have to be just a PCR?

    • Yes leaving Malta you can just have a rapid antigen test. You can take one with you from Qured, Medicspot or Prenetics (not NHS) or there’s a chemist in St Julian doing them. Coming back you can do a PCR when you Land (day 0) or take a home test as well as in person up to day 2

      • Thank you Michele! Do we have to book the PCR at LHR for when we land – I”m worried if the flight is delayed and we miss it, they might charge us for nothing. Or can we just walk in to the Collinson one in Terminal 2? We’re flying into Malta from Turkey to spend 11 nights there to avoid quarantine in a Hotel.

        • I can let you know shortly! I am booked in with Express test on Sunday at T5. I would assume arrival tests are pretty flexible as no one can predict the exact arrival and processing time!

          • Thankyou! Safe trip! Will look forward to what you have to say 🙂

          • Hi Michele
            How was the Express Test?

          • Apart from not getting the QR code which turned out not to be an issue it was simple. I was very late but they didn’t care. In and out in about 3 minutes or less. The T5 arrivals is actually in departures behind check in in zone G

  9. I see the High Court is allowing MAG, supported by IAG, Easy, Ryanair etc.. to order UK Government to publish in full its (in)decision making / analysis on the travel policy to proceed through the courts. When it will be heard in full is anyone’s guess, call me cynical – it will no doubt amount to some scribble on the back of a fag packet!
    In the meantime Shapps insists on PCR tests on UK arrivals, yet over 200,000 of these expensive, privately paid for tests have not been analysed, yet he persists with his rhetoric!
    It’s utterly shambolic, add in Border Force and their dispute with Patel, screwing things up – why bother!
    Genuinely feel sorry for those in need to travel on business, see poorly relatives and so on..
    To add insult to injury as an NHS COVID volunteer, my status isn’t recognised by the NHS app / 119! I’ve gone through my MP whose done the rounds with Vaccine Minister, Health Sec etc…
    All in all a shambles and a risk I’m not prepared to take for some months.

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