With the pandemic seemingly on the rise again, many people want to know just what the latest quarantine rules are for people entering the UK from other countries or territories.
The Government has put in place a traffic light system which lay down strict rules for travellers.
These are Red, Amber and Green, but added to that are the Green Watchlist and the heavily criticised Amber Plus list. For all three colour categories, travellers must take a Covid test from a registered supplier such as Medicspot, Health Hub, and dozens of other providers around the UK. These must be taken at both ends; one before take-off, and one after landing. On return, the same applies (additional tests will need to be booked and paid for if coming from an at-risk country. Let’s break these rules down into simple form.
The Red List (As of July 19, 2021)
The Red List, as it infers, has the strictest rules. If you’re travelling to England, (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may differ, so check), from an area that is red, you must adhere to these rules if planning to enter the UK. Firstly, you should not travel to Red List countries for leisure at all, but if you find yourself already IN an area that turned red while you were there, and you want to travel back to the UK, you must carry out these procedures BEFORE you travel: Take a Covid Test (children under 10 are exempt from this); book a quarantine hotel package which includes two further Covid tests and complete a passenger locator form.
After you land you must quarantine for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel and take the two further Covid tests on or before day two and on or after day eight.
If you are not a British or Irish national, or do not have UK residence rights you will not be allowed into the UK. You must adhere to all these rules even if fully vaccinated.
The Amber List (As of July 19, 2021)
If you’re travelling in from an Amber List country or territory you must follow these rules and only if fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme. Before you travel you must take a Covid test, (again, children under 10 are exempt). You must also book and pay for a Day 2 Covid test to be taken after your arrival. You will not be required to quarantine, but you must complete a passenger locator form. If you are not fully vaccinated, see the rules here. Also, again note that rules in Scotland, Wales, or NI may differ, so check.
The Amber Plus List (As of July 19, 2021)
The Amber Plus List has been slammed by the travel industry because of the potential mayhem it could cause for travellers, but the Government insists that the introduction of this category is essential following France’s inclusion on it last week. It’s also incredibly fluid and could change day to day, so check. At the moment, Spain and Greece are at risk of being added. If you are travelling from France you must take a pre-departure test three days before return as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day two of arrival. A 10-day self-isolation is also mandatory. A further two PCR tests should be carried out during self-isolation. If those tests come back negative travellers may be able to come out of quarantine.
The Green List (As of July 19, 2021)
The Green List rules go as follows. Before you travel to England you must take a Covid test, (under 10s exempt). Book and pay for a Day 2 test, and complete a passenger locator form. On arrival you must take the test on or before day two of your arrival. You do not need to quarantine if the test proves negative, but you must self-isolate if Test and Trace tells you that you have travelled with someone who has tested positive.
The Green Watchlist (As of July 19, 2021)
The same Green List rules apply for the Green Watchlist, but check daily as these countries or territories may change colour at very short notice.