New travel guidance relaxations mean summer holidays just got easier! Read more >
23 July 2021
Holidays over the next few weeks just became a lot easier. On 8th July, we received announcements that we have been waiting for regarding outbound and return travel to/from the UK. As a reminder, the traffic light system governs arrival conditions back into the UK, and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice governs outbound travel to destinations overseas.
Firstly, Britons who are double vaccinated will be able to enjoy quarantine-free travel to amber list countries.
From 19 July, the rules for people returning to England from some destinations are being relaxed as all legal restrictions are removed.
Although the traffic light system remains, holidaymakers who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to self-isolate for 10 days on their return back into England from an amber list country.
Secondly, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office removed its advice against all but essential travel to several popular holiday destinations last night, including Spain, Greece, France, Morocco and Jamaica, with immediate effect.
Of course, those countries still need to be open to arrivals from the UK, and the summary below pinpoints the best destinations to go for if you are tempted to head to the sun!
Bring on the Summer
The countries below are open to UK arrivals, have FCDO advice cleared and are now either green or amber traffic light status meaning no need to quarantine on return home. At the time of publishing, these are the destinations with the most relaxed travel requirements and top of the list for an imminent holiday:
- Antigua (Green)
- Balearic Islands - Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca, Formentera (Amber)
- Barbados (Green)
- Croatia (Green)
- Gibraltar (Green)
- Malta (Green)
- Greece (Amber)
- Jamaica (Amber)
- Portugal (Amber)
- Spain (Amber)
- Canary Islands - Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote (Amber)
- St Lucia (Amber)
As ever, your personal Travel Counsellor stands ready to answer questions and offer guidance relating to your preferred destination should you be keen to get away on a summer holiday. Please contact them as soon as possible as we are expecting a surge in demand, with price increases likely to follow as availability tightens.
Full details on the traffic light system destinations and restrictions follow:
People returning to England from these countries do not have to quarantine but have to take a private PCR test two days after returning.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Australia - most visitors are banned from entering Australia, apart from Australian citizens and some specific others
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- Bulgaria Green
- Cayman Islands
- Croatia - UK travellers must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before arrival or a certificate of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19. From 26th July, all travellers must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before arrival, regardless of vaccination status
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Gibraltar - travellers from the UK must take a free lateral flow test at the airport and day 5 after arrival
- Hong Kong
- Iceland - holidaymakers must show they were fully vaccinated, with the NHS COVID pass or letter, at least 15 days before arriving or show a PCR or antibody test revealing they have recovered from COVID-19
- Israel and Jerusalem
- Madeira - travellers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before travelling and show they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival, or have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 180 days
- Malta - proof of full vaccination at least 14 days before travel (the NHS COVID pass or letter is accepted) is required
- New Zealand - visitors are banned from New Zealand, although New Zealand citizens are allowed with 14 days managed isolation (visitors who have been in Australia for 14 days before do not have to quarantine but must have a PCR test)
- Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
- Singapore - only Singapore citizens and permanent residents can enter without permission
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- Turks and Caicos Island
From 19 July, UK residents who are fully vaccinated (14 days since their final dose) will not have to self-isolate when returning to England.
They will still have to take a test three days before returning and take a PCR test on day 2 - but not on day 8.
Children under 18 and people who are taking part in COVID clinical trials will also no longer have to self-isolate or take a day 8 test.
Travellers who are not fully vaccinated must still take the pre-departure test, quarantine for 10 days on returning to England and take day 2 and day 8 tests.
The government has lifted the advice to not travel to amber list countries.
Most countries are on the amber list - these are some of the main destinations for UK travellers:
- Austria - most UK visitors are banned from Austria
- The Bahamas - fully vaccinated travellers can enter, or a negative PCR test within 5 days before arrival is required and visitors must apply for a health visa and specific health insurance as well as taking an antigen test and completing daily health questionnaires
- Balearic Islands (Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca) - a negative PCR or LAMP COVID-19 test issued within 48 hours before arrival is required or proof of full vaccination at least 14 days before arrival
- Belgium - UK travellers are banned but Belgian nationals and those whose main residence is Belgium are exempt but must quarantine for 10 days
- Canada - most foreign nationals, including from the UK, are banned from Canada
- China - flights are suspended from the UK
- Croatia - UK travellers must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before arrival, certificate of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19
- Cyprus - UK passengers require a negative PCR test within 72 hours before departure and another one at the airport in Cyprus, and must self-isolate as they wait for the result
- France - passengers need to provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure, proof of vaccination and a sworn statement they are not suffering from symptoms or been in contact with confirmed cases in the past two weeks (non-fully vaccinated people can only travel for essential reasons)
- Greece (including islands) - UK travellers must have proof of either a negative PCR test within 72 hours before arrival, a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours before departure or proof of full vaccination at least 14 days before
- Italy (including Vatican City) - UK travellers must present a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours before arrival, self-isolate for five days and take another test to be released
- Mauritius - Fully vaccinated UK travellers will be allowed to enter, staying at one of 14 chosen "resort bubbles"
- Mexico - land borders are closed but reduced flights are running and a health declaration must be completed before arrival
- Portugal (apart from Madeira) - UK passengers must have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel or an antigen test taken within 48 hours. Unless you have proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days before, travellers must quarantine for 14 days
- Saudi Arabia - all travellers must have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure and people who are not fully vaccinated will have to quarantine for seven days
- Spain (including Canary Islands) - a negative PCR or LAMP COVID-19 test issued within 48 hours before arrival is required or proof of full vaccination at least 14 days before arrival
- Thailand - you must apply for permission to travel to Thailand from the Thai government and will have to quarantine for 14 days in a facility
- United States - most visitors who are not US citizens cannot enter the US and those allowed must have a negative COVID test, proof of recovery from COVID-19 and seven days in quarantine is recommended.
All countries not on the green or amber lists are on the red list. Some amber list countries are also on a red watch list.
Only British or Irish nationals, or people with UK residence rights, are allowed to enter the UK from red list countries - although travel to those countries is not advised.
Even if travellers have been fully vaccinated, they must take a COVID-19 PCR test before travelling, book a quarantine hotel package and complete a passenger locator form.
On arrival, they will be taken directly to the quarantine hotel and take tests on day two and day eight.
To arrange your next holiday or to clarify any of the restrictions, contact your Travel Counsellor and take advantage of exclusive benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your stay.