26 May 2021 by Olga Brighton
It’s time to dip your toes in the water, as the ban on overseas leisure travel ends in England on 17 May 2021 and we can start asking ‘where can I go on holiday without quarantine?’ The travel corridor update is now linked to the new traffic light system unveiled by the UK Government for international travel. It grades countries on their COVID risk from green, amber to red. Other EU countries have their own rules, so its important to check where you are traveling from and to. For example Spain has recently declared that its borders will be open to travellers from the UK and some other non EU locations.
So which countries are deemed safe places to travel? It’s important that you check the FCDO website directly to ensure you are relying on current and accurate information. You can check the latest categorisation of countries on the FCDO website here.
This is especially important as the list of countries in each category will change depending on a variety of risk factors and this may happen with little or no notice. The good news is that travellers to low-risk green countries will still have to take a COVID test before leaving and on returning, but they are free to travel there and you don’t need to quarantine on your return.
Entry to the UK is currently prohibited for non-residents departing from the countries included on the red list. This does not apply to citizens and those with residency rights. If you have been in or through a country on the red list in the previous 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK.
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The system grades every country based on the level of infections and vaccinations as well as other key indicators: For UK travellers:
British citizens and anyone coming from a Red List country must comply with a 10-day mandatory quarantine in managed quarantine hotel upon arrival.
Travellers arriving from an Amber List country must:
Travellers must provide the address and details of the place they will quarantine on their passenger locator form. You could face a fine of £5,000 if you break quarantine rules. You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Government Test to Release scheme.
These are quarantine free countries. On arrival in England, you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive, but you do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.
According to the FCDO, If you have been in or through a country on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the red list rules. In fact you still have to follow red list rules if you came through a red list country on your way back from an amber list country. So the rules are, you must follow the rules of the country on the highest risk category if you have travelled through, or visited a location in that category in the 10 days before you arrive in England – even if you also travelled from a green list country.
Wherever you are thinking of going, your best bet is to always check FCDO's travel advice to stay safe and travel aware before you book your destination.
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