Traffic Light System for Travel

Effective from the 17th May 2021, the UK government have announced that they will be using a traffic light system for travel abroad. This traffic light system will put countries into red, amber, and green lists depending on a number of COVID-19 related factors.

 

What you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the 10 days prior to your arrival.

 

For more detailed information, including which countries are rated as red, amber or green for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the rules you must follow to enter England from the 17th May 2021, please visit the gov.uk site.

 

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Will I need a COVID-19 test to travel?

 

You will need at least two COVID-19 tests in order to travel to any country once overseas holidays are permitted again. These are just requirements from the UK government, you may also need to have additional tests in line with your destination country’s entry conditions.

 

Test requirements for a green country: To return to the UK from a country on the green list, you will need to take a pre-departure test in the country you’ve been staying in and a PCR test on or before your second day back in the UK. Your tests must be booked and paid for before you travel and must come from a government approved provider. You will not need to quarantine.

 

Test requirements for an amber country: To return to the UK from a country on the amber list, you will need to take a pre-departure test in the country you’ve been staying in. You will then need to quarantine for 10 days on your return. You’ll be required to take a PCR test on your second and eighth days of quarantine. To reduce your quarantine time, you can opt to purchase an additional PCR test to take five days after your arrival as part of the government’s Test to Release scheme. You will then be able to finish your quarantine if this test is negative.

 

Test requirements for a red country: To return to the UK from a country on the red list, you will need to take a pre-departure test in the country you’ve been staying in. You will then need to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days. As with amber country requirements you’ll need to take a test on days 2 and 8 of your quarantine. You cannot take part in the Test to Release scheme.

 

You must also continue to complete a passenger locator form, in addition to testing, regardless of which list your country appears on.

 

Please note: NHS tests will not be accepted for travel.

 

Can I travel to France?

 

Individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are able to enter France without an essential reason and do not need to quarantine on arrival. They will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result from either a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or an antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure.

 

Those who have not been fully vaccinated will need to produce an International Certificate of Travel stating their essential reason for entering France, plus a negative COVID-19 test result as above. In addition to this, they will need a completed ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form stating they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with any confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight. Individuals that have not been fully vaccinated will need to self-isolate for 7 days on arrival and produce a negative PCR test result following this quarantine.

 

 

Can I travel to the Netherlands?

 

You must have an essential reason to enter the Netherlands. If you have an essential reason to visit, you will need to provide a negative COVID -19 PCR test result taken within 24 hours of departure from the UK. Alternatively, you can provide a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure for the Netherlands and a negative rapid test taken within 24 hours. However, none of these tests can be self-administered. You will need to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival as the UK has been listed as a high-risk country by the Dutch government. You can end your self-isolation after 5 days if you take a PCR test and the result is negative.

 

Can I travel to Ireland?

 

You must have a completed COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form to be able to enter Ireland. You will also need a negative result from a COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test carried out no more than 72 hours prior to arriving in Ireland. This will be checked before you board your ferry and by immigration officers on your arrival. You will need to quarantine at the address specified on your Passenger Locator Form for 14 days. You are only permitted to leave this address in the case of an emergency or if you are leaving Ireland.

 

 

Need more Coronavirus information? Head back to our Coronavirus hub page for more information, or find out more about the routes we travel too by visiting our routes page.

 

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