Travel rules in England have changed once again in the wake of the easing of lockdown rules – with visitors from certain countries now exempt from self-isolation.
Recent changes mean that fully vaccinated travellers from the US and EU countries, as well as Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City, no longer have to quarantine on arrival in England.
Those who have had their second dose of a Covid jab more than 14 days before flying now only have to test negative before flying, as well as take a PCR test within two days of arrival.
Seven new countries, including Germany and Austria, are now moving to the green list as well, giving many the hope that a late summer holiday could be on the cards.
While this may open up the country to more tourists, international travel remains heavily restricted, with strict procedures to reduce the risk of new coronavirus variants entering the country.
The UK Government has published a series of travel lists, using a traffic light system to categorise countries into red, amber and green lists dependent on how safe it is for British citizens to travel there and back.
Those arriving from a green list destination into the UK are required to take a day two PCR test. Arrivals from amber list countries and territories who are not fully vaccinated need a day two and day eight test, and to quarantine for 10 days.
Fully vaccinated people no longer need to quarantine or take a day 8 PCR test on arrival from countries on the amber list, with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and India recently being bumped from red to the amber list.
France had been on the ‘amber plus list’, which means that arrivals from the country will need to isolate on return to the UK even if they are double jabbed.
But in the recent review, France was moved to the regular amber list, amid pressure from tourism industry leaders, as well as a desire for simpler UK travel rules.
Those returning from a red list country still need to enter Government-mandated hotel quarantine for 10 days, at their own expense – regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated.
But with the lists being reviewed regularly and changing rapidly, when is the next update set to take place?
When is the next travel update?
The last travel update was announced on August 4, with the new rules coming into force from 4am on Sunday August 8.
The Government announced they would be reviewing travel restrictions and provide an update every three weeks, meaning that another travel update is due on Wednesday, August 25.
An update from the Department for Transport states: ‘These regular review points will allow the Government to balance helping the public to understand Covid requirements when travelling to England while allowing us to constantly evaluate the risk for different countries.’
The countries on the ‘green list’ have continued to grow with each update, giving more hope to those hungry for a holiday.
However, transport secretary Grant Shapps has refused to rule out the possibility that popular destinations such as Spain could move in the future, but spoke encouragingly about summer holidays.
Shapps told Sky News: ‘With coronavirus, you can never say there is zero chance.
‘But having said that, the levels of vaccination and what we now know about the virus and what our scientists have been able to work out in the last year means that people should be able to go away, enjoy their holidays without looking over their shoulders the whole time and as I say, the next set of changes are not for another three weeks.’
The status of any country can change at short notice, and if you are in a country which turns from green to amber or amber to red you will be subject to the new rules if you do not leave before its status changes.
Before you make any plans to travel anywhere, you should always check what restrictions are in place at your destination, as well as what procedures you need to follow upon leaving and returning to the UK.
Share your views in the comments below