Which countries that have come off the red list can you travel to?


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UPDATE: FCDO has announced that they will remove warnings from most former red list countries on Monday at 4am. See more here.

With the red list being reduced to just 7 countries from Monday, this should open up the world of travel significantly, but which countries are simple to enter as a tourist? Below are the most popular tourist countries that are coming off the list on Monday 11 October at 4am.

You can find all the official information on the FCDO page but I always advise looking the country’s tourist website as things can change quickly. Most of the countries still have an FCDO warning against all but essential travel but hopefully, many of these may change in the next week or so. 

You can enter most of the countries but some require a lot more effort than others. 



rio-de-janeiro-avios club seats

Rio de Janeiro

PCR test: yes but can also use antigen

FCDO: advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Brazil based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.” But this could change as often they update it up to a week after the announcement.

The Brazilian Government has removed the temporary suspension on entry to the country from travellers who have been physically present in the UK in the past 14 days. British and foreign nationals can now enter the country on direct (UK-Brazil) flights or by transiting through third countries, subject to regular entry requirements.

Anyone travelling to Brazil by air needs to present the airline at check-in documentary evidence of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken within 72 hours of boarding or a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours of boarding in English, Spanish or Portuguese. All children under the age of 2 are exempt from the requirement to present a negative test. Children under the age of 12 who are accompanied by adult(s) who have proof of a negative test are also exempt.

All travellers to Brazil are currently required to complete a Travelers Health Declaration form within 72 hours of boarding. This can be done online. The English version is available here.

Further information is available on the website of Brazil’s Consulate General.


Cape Verde

 Cape Verde

PCR test: if not vaccinated.

FCDO: advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Cape Verde based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

You’ll need a COVID vaccine certificate or a COVID-19 RT PCR nasal swab test or an antigen test (Ag-RDT) to enter Cape Verde. The test has to be done in the last 72 hours before travel. If you do not present a COVID-19 test done in the last 72 hours or a COVID vaccination certificate, you will not be allowed to board your flight. Children under 7 do not need to present a COVID-19 test.

Prior to your travel you will need to complete and submit:

  • the Airport Security Tax Form (TSA) on the EASE website and pay 3,400 escudos (approximately £30). This does not apply to visitors under 2 years of age or those who are normally resident in Cape Verde. (See Visas). If you’re travelling with a tour operator, check whether the cost of the TSA is included in your package.
  • an International Travel Form on the Covid19.cv website.

Cape Verde will only accept the UK’s letter version of proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. They will not accept digital proof. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.



Santiago cityscape

PCR test: Yes less than 72 hours before the final flight to Chile. 

FCDO:  advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Chile based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

It is difficult to enter Chile currently from the UK and it is only available to those who are fully vaccinated. 

From 1 October, the Chilean government’s new ‘Fronteras Protegidas’ (Protected Borders) Plan will be in force.

From 1 October, you will be allowed to enter Chile if you are:

  • a Chilean national or a resident foreign national; or
  • a non-resident foreign national only if you
    • hold a valid Chilean Mobility Pass ‘Pase de Movilidad’ (Passengers that are not resident in Chile must have proof of vaccination validated by the Chilean authorities prior to travel. To do this, you must apply online to have your vaccination validated and receive a Chilean “Pase de Movilidad” (Mobility pass) by visiting https://mevacuno.gob.cl/ This process may take up to 30 days.
    • or you fall into one of the ‘exceptions’ listed in Decree 102.
    • and hold travel insurance covering a minimum of $30,000 USD for COVID-related issues
    • Visitors have the option to complete the full five-day isolation period announced in September or temporarily isolate until receiving a negative COVID-19 PCR test, which can only be taken in Chile.

There are lots of other rules which you can read here.


Costa Rica

BA sale winter 2017

Toucan in Costa Rica


FCDO: advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Costa Rica based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

From 1 November 2020, all travellers proceeding from any country will be admitted into Costa Rica as long as they comply with the requirements below.

From 1 August 2021 visitors under 18 years, and visitors over 18 years who have been double-vaccinated with an approved vaccine more than 14 days previously, may enter without mandatory insurance. All others will need to buy insurance with specific cover requirements. All travellers must complete an advance epidemiological information form. These requirements are likely to be strictly enforced. If you have questions about these requirements you should consult your airline.

Check the requirements for entry here.



Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba

PCR: Yes within 72 hours

FCDO: advises against all but essential travel to Cuba based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Summary: I wouldn’t bother as you have to isolate until test results

Everyone travelling to Cuba must have a certified proof of a negative result of a PCR test taken within 72 hours before travel at an accredited testing centre in the UK or the country you are travelling from. Children are not exempt. 

You will still be given a PCR test on arrival in Cuba.

Everyone has to complete a Health Declaration (with the address of where they will be staying) and have a PCR test. From 1 December, all air tickets will have a sanitary fee of $30 included. If you have to pay for a PCR test, e.g. arriving by boat, the cost is payable by credit card, or in USD or GBP or Euros cash. The test result should be communicated within 48 hours. Travel insurance with cover for COVID-19 is required.

Tourists arriving on holiday charter flights will be given a PCR test on arrival. They will then be transferred to their hotels, and will be briefed on isolation rules there and further medical checks or testing at the hotel.

Non-residents will be given a PCR test on arrival and will have to stay at a designated isolation centre (maybe a hotel) until they have a second negative PCR test (the test may be on fifth day). The costs of the stay, test(s) and transport to and from the accommodation have to be paid by you, by credit card. It is recommended to bring cash in case your credit card does not work.

If you test positive you will be taken to a government facility or hospital and expected to pay for it.




Tourists are keen to escape the crowds and enjoy nature

PCR test: No

FCDO: advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Mexico based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Very few restrictions for Mexico – you just need to fill in an immigration form It is mandatory to register on the Mexico Vuela Seguro Platform before boarding your flight to Mexico, and to show the QR code upon arrival at the airport.


South Africa

Cape Town - penguins at Boulders Beach

Cape Town – penguins at Boulders Beach

PCR Test: Yes 72 hours before departure

FCDO: The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the whole of South Africa based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Vaccinated: Not mandatory

You will need to produce a paper copy of a negative PCR COVID-19 test to border officials upon arrival in South Africa. The test must have taken place no more than 72 hours before your departure. It should be conducted by a certified medical practitioner, and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted the test marked clearly on it, as well as the time at which the sample was taken.



BA launch Seychelles flights

Anse Source d’Argent – Beach on island La Digue in Seychelles

PCR Test: Yes 72 hours before departure

FCDO: The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Seychelles based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks

Vaccination: Not required

All visitors must present a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours prior to departure, and must stay in approved accommodation. There will be no quarantine requirement and no restriction on movement for most visitors upon entry to Seychelles. Visitors must adhere to public health measures.

Visitors who have been in Bangladesh, Brazil, India or Pakistan within 14 days prior to travel will not be permitted to enter Seychelles. An application for entry form should also be completed and returned to the Public Health Authority before travel. 

You can find the official information here. 



Railay beach in Krabi, Thailand

PCR test: See sandbox requirements

Vaccinated: See Sandbox requirements

FCDO: advise against all but essential travel to the whole of Thailand based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Summary: it’s possible but complicated. It varies depending in where you visit and whether they have a Sandbox agreement which can be very complex. Read one reader’s experience here. 

If you want to travel to Thailand, you must apply for permission to travel via the Royal Thai Government’s online platform.

You should keep up to date with the latest information on the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Royal Thai Embassy LondonCivil Aviation Authority of Thailand, and the Ministry of Public Health. Things change constantly with very short notice.

Certain categories of foreigners arriving in Thailand will be tested for COVID-19 on entry and again during quarantine – see Entry section above.

Most travellers to Thailand, including British nationals travelling from the UK, are required to complete 14 days’ quarantine at a State Quarantine or Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility. Whilst in ASQ, you will normally not be allowed to leave your room except for medical treatment or COVID-19 tests.

In some areas of Thailand it is possible to complete some or all of the quarantine period without being restricted to an ASQ facility. Schemes include the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus. You can find out more information on the Royal Thai Embassy London website.

You may be required to download the Thai Chana COVID-19 tracking app on arrival in Thailand.

You need a valid visa to stay in Thailand.

The official FCDO page is here.


Trinidad and Tobago

Englishman’s Bay, Tobago

PCR: Yes within 72 hours

FCDO: advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Trinidad and Tobago based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Vaccinated: Yes mandatory

Direct British Airways and Virgin flights between Trinidad and Tobago and the UK remain suspended. 

Trinidad and Tobago has published travel protocols setting out its entry requirements in relation to COVID-19. Visit the Ministry of Health website for full details.

Masks should be worn at all times during your travel to Trinidad and Tobago and your passage through the airport. 

All travellers from the UK must present on arrival a valid negative NASOPHARYNGEAL (nasal swab) RT-PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours (3 days) in advance of your flight’s arrival. Please note that the test can be taken at any time during the day 3 days prior to the date of your arrival in Trinidad and Tobago.

All passengers are also required to apply for a Travel Pass via the following online gateway: ttravelpass.gov.tt up to 72 hours prior to travel, to which they should upload their negative test result. The TTravel Pass can be printed or saved on a mobile device for use to board the flight and to gain entry into Trinidad and Tobago. The TTravel Pass website gives full details on additional entry requirements.

Non-nationals who are NOT fully vaccinated will not be allowed entry to Trinidad and Tobago at this time.


4 Comments on "Which countries that have come off the red list can you travel to?"

  1. Like you say things are changing weekly, for example Thailand will waive its mandatory quarantine requirement in Bangkok and nine regions from Nov. 1 to vaccinated arrivals, as the country tries to boost its immunisation rate and revive its battered tourism sector.

    Authorities will also reduce the quarantine time nationwide for visitors arriving from Oct. 1, the COVID-19 task force said, halving it to seven days for vaccinated arrivals, and cutting it to 10 days for those not inoculated.

  2. The requirements for a negative test to enter South Africa caught my eye. Are any UK test providers offering certification of this nature i.e signed by the medical practitioner who conducted the test?

    • I’m sure there will be. If not there’s no reason you couldn’t ask or take the certificate in to be signed.

  3. South Africa’s requirement for a signature will be a barrier to entry. UK test certificates name the doctor signing off test result however they don’t carry a signature.

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