BREAKING: Green list in full & which countries on green list will let UK tourists in? NHS app to be ready

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The day has come when we finally know when and where we can travel!

Today the government announced the full green list. You can find the red list of countries here which has not been changed. If a country does not appear on the red or green list it will be amber. I won’t list the full amber list as it has so many countries but I will give a list of the most popular travel destinations that are amber. 

 

What does each colour require for testing/quarantine?

As a reminder, here is what you can expect for each category when you return to the UK:

Green countries – testing

Entry to the UK from Green countries will require a negative test with 72 hours of travel. This can be a PCR or lateral flow test. The current guidelines allow for a rapid test which you can do yourself via videolink from BA for £33. Read more here. 

You will also be required to test on return, on day two probably with a PCR test. It has not been stated what type of tests these will be, I’d assume they stay the same as now which is PCR.  It needs to be booked before you reach the UK border. You can book here eventually. 

 

Amber countries – isolate at home

Entry to the UK requires a negative test with 72 hours of travel. This can be a PCR or lateral flow test. The current guidelines allow for a rapid test which you can do yourself via videolink from BA for £33. Read more here. 

It is expected that you will be allowed to isolate at home. You can shorten the home quarantine by taking a “test to release” after 5 days. You will be required to take the day 2 and 8 PCR tests as well even with test to release. 

Tests need to be booked before you reach the UK border. You can book here. 

 

Red countries – hotel quarantine

Entry to the UK requires a negative test with 72 hours of travel. This can be a PCR or lateral flow test. The current guidelines allow for a rapid test which you can do yourself via videolink from BA for £33. Read more here. 

For red countries hotel quarantine at a cost of £1,750 per person will continue for 11 nights/10 days with 2 PCR tests during the stay. 

Testing notes:

You do not need to take a test before departure if you began your journey to England from:

  • Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey
  • Ascension, Falkland Islands, St Helena, Myanmar

Children aged under 11 do not need to take a test before departure.

Children under 5 will not be required to take the day-2 or day-8 test. (talk about confusing)

 

What to do before you travel

Before deciding to travel, have a look at all the entry requirements via the FCDO here. Just because something is green, doesn’t mean that it is not against FCDO advice to travel there.

Bear in mind FCDO only show what the current situation is, not what is planned. There is limited information about the exact requirements for many countries that plan to open on 17 May to Brits. I suspect that will be forthcoming next week. 

In this article, I look at all the things you need to do to prepare to travel again. 

 

Green Countries List

qatar route lisbon

Lisbon

The destinations below in bold are those with relatively low testing and quarantine requirements. Just 12 countries were announced:

Green list countries will be placed on a watch list if there is a concern arising, to help you be aware of the situation before travelling.

CountryAllows UK tourists?PCR tests required /quarantineExemptions for those vaccinated or immune
Australia No  
AzoresYes<72 hours before and on arrival. Must quarantine for up to 24 hours before results.  
BruneiNo  
Falklands IslandsNo  
Faroe IslandsYes14 days quarantine 
GibraltarNot yet but expected in MayNon/a
IcelandYes if vaccinatedNeed to present NHS card and then test on arrival. Quarantine until results. Only fully vaccinated Brits allowed.
Israel Group tours only from 23 May  
MadeiraYesYes – <72 hours before or test on arrivalYes for those fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid with proof in last 90 days
New ZealandNo  
PortugalFrom 17 MayYes – <72 hours before Expected from 17 May that those fully vaccinated will not need to test.
Singapore No  

 

Amber Countries (most popular countries)

Alicante short break

Harbour of Alicante, Spain

There has been some confusion by the language Grant Shapps used. From 17 May it will not be illegal to travel on holiday to any country. But quite a few countries on the amber list are no longer on the FCDO essential travel only list, which means your insurance would cover you. If it still has an FCDO warning you can legally travel but need to check about your travel insurance. 

  • Italy
  • Spain including the Balearic Islands
  • Poland
  • Canada
  • Greece
  • Mexico
  • Holland
  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • Sweden
  • Mauritius
  • Sri Lanka
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Bermuda
  • The Caribbean

Full list here.

 

Red list countries

Three new countries were added to the red list today: Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal. This will take effect from 4am, Wednesday 12 May.

You can find the red list here. 

 

NHS app to become vaccine passport

I also wrote about concerns that the NHS app would not be ready for travel by 17 May. Grant Shapps confirmed today that it will be ready by the 17 May on the NHS app but you can also request a paper copy. Note that this is not the same as the NHS Covid app. You may have to give your GP permission for you to access the data. You can read more here.

You can access your COVID-19 vaccination status through the free NHS App from 17 May. You can access the app through mobile devices such as a smartphone or by tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status will be shown within the NHS App. I recommend that you register with the app well before you travel, at least 2 weeks before in case of issues. 

If you do not have access to a smartphone and know that the country you are travelling to requires COVID-19 vaccination status, you can call the NHS helpline on 119 (from 17 May) and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine. The letter will take up to 5 days to reach you.

 

Border queues likely

Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5, International Arrivals concourse

Border Force has stated it will take longer than usual to enter the UK. Currently takes 5-10 minutes to process each passenger even with the correct paperwork, with manual checks. They will be increasing the amount of border force agents. 

It had been said that they would fast track green arrivals but there was not mention of this in the briefing. Basically, it will be a long wait from 17 May. I get the sentiment of keeping the country safe but there is absolutely no reason why they could not have come up with a solution for this by now. There are plenty of simple technological solutions that could reduce this down to less than 1 minute per person. 

18 Comments on "BREAKING: Green list in full & which countries on green list will let UK tourists in? NHS app to be ready"

  1. Your site are the best direct information and always giving the best advise.
    thanks

  2. Quite a farce but we shouldn’t be too surprised. The US is the biggest surprise actually. Israel is there yet nothing from… supposedly….the ‘special relationship’

  3. I had hoped to visit my son in Dubai but despite the massive vaccine roll out there, for example at 25 and 30 years, like most in Dubai have had both the vaccines it’s remained on the red list. They say they will review every 3 weeks. Is this likely to be 3 weeks from yesterday or 3 weeks after the 17th do you think. Will just keep pushing back until the temperatures and humidity are unbearable in Dubai. I wish they would separate the need to see family and show some compassion and common sense.

    • It’s likely to be three weeks from yesterday since that was the first assessment and they aim to give more notice of changes. But UAE is not predicted to go green or amber before end of June due to the numbers of transit passengers.

  4. It is very disappointing the US is not on the Green List. Hopefully Spain and Italy will be by July. Thanks for your excellent efforts, Michelle

  5. Where can I find in black and white that Portugal will allow me in on holiday from May 17th please Michelle?

    • So far there is no official announcement in writing, just statements by various Portuguese ministers. If you Google it you’ll find plenty of articles. I’d expect to see something next week now we have said they are green.

  6. It’s interesting that the UK government will also be accepting the latteral flow test for entry from green and amber countries. Does this mean I can take my own latteral flow testing kits out to Greece with me, do the test two days before my return flight and use this as “proof” I don’t have C-19 ? If this is the case,why would anyone pay for a PCR test when you can get the LF test for free ?

    • You can not. You have to buy test on line and book video time slot up to 72 hrs before the flight. When video appointment is established the dedicated person will watch you doing the test and after 20 min you will have to upload the photo of the result

  7. You mention that Myanmar is on the list of countries not requiring a test before coming to England, that is not correct.
    You don’t say what the requirements are to enter the Republic of Ireland on your list of Green countries?
    ery

  8. The union suggests a possible ten hour wait at immigration. That alone would put me off. I certainly won’t be booking anything until I see how that’s panning out.

    • I would take that with a pinch of salt. Bearing in mind the cost of tests and the tiny amount of destinations open and accepting U.K. tourists, I don’t think there will be a huge rise. The union will have their own agenda. At terminal 2 it is likely to be bad though. Sadly this is all preventable with some IT tweaks.

  9. Sorry to posy again but I cannot find the information anywhere, can you please help?

    Where can I find in black and white that Portugal will allow me in on holiday from May 17th please Michelle?

  10. Government playing politics as usual. All this talk of EU and US yet the Caribbean seems to be forgotten about. Not only as leisure destination but many UK citizens have family that still reside in the Caribbean. I personally have had a family member pass and was not able to travel for the funeral.

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