Travel Rules Explained – Green & Amber Countries

As we are all well aware, travelling at the moment may seem a tad – tricky! It seems as if there is an unending amount of rules that are constantly changing and have no beginning or end. Here at Chelsea Pharmacy Medical Clinic, we understand your frustrations and concerns in making sure that you are following the rules correctly and we aim to help you amidst all of your travel confusion.

As well as this, we provide a premium covid testing service for all of your testing needs, whether you are traveling to and from the UK to help make your trip easier.

As of the posting of this article (28th July), double vaccinated passengers arriving from amber list countries to the UK no longer have to quarantine as long as they have received the approved vaccinations and have had their final dose at least 14 full days prior to travel.

So what are some of these holiday destinations that require no quarantining on return to the UK and what are the initial requirements to visit?

Green List countries

People returning to England from green list countries do not have to quarantine, but do have to take a private PCR test up to, or on day two of returning from foreign travel.

List of Green Countries:

– Anguilla

– Antigua and Barbuda

– Australia – most visitors are banned from entering Australia, apart from Australian citizens and some specific others.

– Barbados

– Bermuda

– British Antarctic Territory

– British Indian Ocean Territory

– Brunei

– Cayman Islands


– Dominica

– Falkland Islands

– Faroe Islands

– Gibraltar – travellers from the UK must take a free lateral flow test at the airport and day 5 after arrival.

– Grenada

– Iceland – holiday makers 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.

– Montserrat

– 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 Islands

Amber list countries

UK residents who are fully vaccinated (14 days after their final dose) no longer have to self-isolate when returning to England. Instead they have to do a Test on or up to Day 2 of return from travel.

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. If they would like to leave quarantine earlier, they can opt for a Day 5 (Test to Release) test.

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.

– 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.

– 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.

– 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.

– 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.

Be sure to regularly visit the GOV.UK website for Foreign Travel Advice and entry and Arrival Requirements for the country you are travelling to and back from.

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