Usually, we would have expected there to be an update to the green and amber list tomorrow. For some reason, it was decided that these would be announced early.
The move from amber to green only really has a bearing for those that are not fully vaccinated since from 19 July you will effectively be treated as returning from a green country when you are returning from amber. Full details are here.
Green list and green watch list additions
From 4.00am Monday 19th July Bulgaria & Hong Kong will be added to the green list.
Bulgaria has introduced a new system of classification for travellers arriving in the country based on green, orange and red zones. The UK is currently categorised as an ‘orange zone’ country which means that if you are travelling from the UK to Bulgaria you are required to present one of the following three documents:
- A vaccination certificate indicating an approved vaccine schedule has been completed at least 14 days before arrival. The document must contain the name of the person in Latin alphabet, date of birth, date of the last administered dose, serial number of the dose, and the total number of doses administered, trade name of vaccine, batch number of dose(s), manufacturer name, name of country and organisation who has issued the certificate.
- A document showing a positive result from a PCR or rapid antigen test for people who have recovered from COVID-19. This must be dated at least 11, but no more than 180 days before arrival. The document must contain the name of the person in Latin alphabet, date of birth, date of the first positive result, details of the medical institution that performed the test (name, address or other contact details), the authority that issued the document, the country in which the test has been performed, type of test (PCR or RAT), and ‘Positive’ written in Latin.
The types of vaccine and antigen tests that are accepted by Bulgarian authorities are listed in the annexes (in Bulgarian) at the end of the published ordinance.
- A negative PCR test performed within 72 hours before entry into Bulgaria or a rapid antigen test performed up to 48 hours before entry.
Currently, the FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Bulgaria based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. This would invalidate most travel insurance. However, I would expect this to also change before Monday but it’s not guaranteed.
Adding Hong Kong is completely pointless since all passenger flights from the UK will be prohibited from landing in Hong Kong and that all passengers who have visited the UK for more than two hours in the past 21 days will be denied entry to Hong Kong
Croatia & Taiwan will be added to the green watchlist of destinations at the same time. This means that they could go amber at any time but again if you are fully vaccinated it makes no difference except in terms of insurance if FCDO advice.
UK nationals travelling to Croatia must carry evidence of health status to present on arrival to Croatia (a negative COVID-19 antigen not older than 48 hours or PCR test result not older than 72 hours, or proof of a vaccination, or a doctor’s certificate of recovery following a positive test result between 11 and 180 days prior). (See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status’).
Children under 12 and accompanied by a parent/guardian are exempt from the requirement to present a negative test result, and to self-isolate, if the parent or guardian has a negative PCR or Rapid Antigen test result, an EU digital COVID Certificate, an official certificate of vaccination or a certificate of recovery as set out above for UK Nationals entry to Croatia.
Alternatively a PCR test or rapid antigen test can be taken after arrival in Croatia but you will be obliged to self-isolate until the results of a negative test are received.
If you fancy Dubrovnik in Croatia, I recommend the Sheraton Dubrovnik which you can read about here.
In Taiwan, the border for foreign nationals is closed.
Green to Amber
As predicted, the government is moving the Balearic Islands (Ibiza, Menorca, Majorca, and Formentor) to the amber list along with the British Virgin Islands – previously on the green watchlist. This takes effect from Monday at 4am.
Grant Shapps said “we’ve seen the rates double and also the rate of positivity of these tests double, meaning that we’re going to need to move quickly, as we said we might always have to do”.
The infection rate for the Balearics is 205 cases per 100,000 people, compared with 329.9 for the United Kingdom.
Red list additions
Despite a number of countries on the red list that do not have the data to support them being on the list such as Qatar, UAE and Turkey, no countries have been downgraded to amber this time.
Instead, 4 more countries have been added:
- Sierra Leone