Canada, Switzerland and Denmark are among the countries that joined the green list after the government’s recent review of its traffic light system for travel abroad.
Seven destinations have become green, which means that returning travelers face the lightest rules, regardless of vaccination status: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the Portuguese Azores Autonomous Islands.
From 4am on Monday 30 August, travelers entering the UK from these countries, whether or not they are doing double strikes, can forgo quarantine. Instead, they must submit a negative lateral flow test before leaving for the UK, and have a PCR test done within two days of arrival.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have confirmed that they will reflect changes to their traffic light listings.
No country has been expelled from the green list, and no new entries have been upgraded from the “high-risk” red list – which comes with the most onerous and costly restrictions – to amber.
However, both Montenegro and Thailand were downgraded from amber to red, necessitating 11 nights of hotel quarantine for UK arrivals from August 30 onwards, at a cost of £2,285 per solo traveler. Only those who have the right to reside in the UK can enter the country from a Red List destination.
The Department for Transport said the changes were made to the red list to reflect “the increasing case rates in these countries and the greater risks that travel from these countries poses to public health in the UK”.
Although Canada’s green status is welcome news for Brits wishing to be reunited with family across the pond, UK travelers won’t be able to visit for recreational purposes until September 7 when border restrictions are lifted – and only then if they are fully vaccinated.
All travelers will still need a ‘molecular’ Covid-19 test result before entry, but double-challenged visitors will no longer need post-arrival testing unless they are randomly selected to complete testing on the first day of their stay in Canada. They can also forgo quarantine.
The travel industry has reacted with disappointment to the lackluster reshuffle in traffic lights, with Julia Le Puy Said, CEO of Advantage Travel Partnership, claiming that the current review regime “destroys public confidence and makes it impossible for the travel industry to trade its way ‘through recovery'”.
The most significant omission of the changes is Turkey, which is still on the red list. The government in Ankara, as well as the UK travel industry, has lobbied intensely for the country to be removed from the high-risk registry and moved to the ‘amber list’ – meaning that fully vaccinated UK or EU travelers do not need to self-isolate upon return. .
There were also hopes that the Maldives and Pakistan would be removed from the red list.
Sean Doyle, Chairman and CEO of British Airways, said: “Despite a world-leading vaccination programme, the UK’s economic recovery is still far from our more realistic European neighbours, who are already reaping the fruits of a rapid recovery.
“We have a more expensive, restrictive and restrictive testing system than anyone else. We also need to urgently end the uncertainty caused by changes in the status of countries’ traffic lights. Our “green” list is much smaller than that of the United States and the European Union, Although there are no new variants being ported to the UK.”