United Kingdom has made a number of changes to its traffic light travel list. These changes are effective from 04:00 hours 8th August 2021. If you arrive in England before this date, then you must follow the rules that are presently applicable.
France moves to the Amber list
Until now, France had been designated as a ‘Amber Plus’ country due to the prevalence of the Beta or South African variant of COVID-19. However, effective 04:00 hours 8th August 2021, it will be upgraded to Amber list.
This means that if you are arriving from France after 04:00 hours on 8th August 2021, and you are fully vaccinated in the UK, USA or Europe, you will not need to quarantine or take a day 8 COVID-19 test but will still have to take a day 2 COVID-19 test.
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More countries being added to the Amber list
India, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain are moving from red to amber, meaning that arrivals will no longer need to quarantine for ten days in a government-approved hotel, but instead will have to home-quarantine themselves and take two tests, one on Day 2 and Day 8. Under the voluntary test to release scheme, they can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test on day five of the quarantine. If the result is negative, they can end their quarantine.
Visit Visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open.
The decision comes a month before the major university travel season, which will see tens of thousands flying into the UK, usually with family.
Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways will likely benefit the most from this decision as passengers taking connecting flights from all over the world will also have the chance to fly with these airlines without the hotel quarantine.
Several European countries make it to the Green list
The European countries of Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway are being moved from amber list to green list. This means that all travellers (regardless of vaccination status) need to only take a day 2 test after arrival into England and a pre-departure RT-PCR test.
With approximately four weeks of summer holidays left, expect airlines to quickly ramp up services to these 7 countries. The popular holiday destinations of Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal remain on the amber list for now.
Four countries move to red list
The latest update was not good for every country. Four countries are moving to the strictest red list from amber list effective 04:00 hours on 8th August 2021. These are: Georgia, Mayotte, Réunion, and Mexico.
Commenting on the changes, Sean Doyle, Chairman and CEO, British Airways, said:
This week we’ve witnessed emotional airport scenes as restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers from the US and EU were finally lifted, allowing loved ones to safely reunite. We welcome more low-risk countries being added to the Green list but urge the Government to go further, end uncertainty and allow people to benefit from our world-leading vaccination programme. The UK’s economic recovery is reliant on a thriving travel sector and right now we’re lagging behind Europe, with our more stringent testing requirements and a Red list significantly broader than our European peers.
Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association, said:
We welcome today’s announcement on travel regulations. The introduction of more countries to the green and amber lists is a leap forward in the return of safe international travel. The Government has taken the right and strong decisions in abandoning plans for watchlists and removing France’s unique Amber Plus status. These were potentially calamitous moves which would have jeopardised the future of the whole travel and aviation supply chains. The opening of routes into the Middle East is of particular significance for business travel. It will take some time for business travel to return at scale, but this enables our sector to contribute to UK GDP and the international trading reputation of our country once more. We urge the Government to continue to help the travel sector to get back on its feet and to work to create international protocols that boost travellers’ confidence.
IH Aviation And Travel advises travellers who are planning to travel to the United Kingdom to check the entry requirements before commencing their journey. For more information regarding entry information into the UK, click here.
What do you think of United Kingdom’s latest changes to the traffic light travel list? Are you happy with the changes made? Let me know in the comments section below.