France, Spain and Greece are on the UK’s amber list

Popular holiday destinations will require a stint in quarantine

Helen Coffey
Friday 07 May 2021 18:54 BST
Related: Grant Shapps announces green list countries

France, Greece, Spain and Italy are among the countries that will be on the UK’s “amber list” once foreign holidays become legal in England from 17 May.

International leisure travel will open up from that date under a traffic light system, whereby destinations are categorised as green, amber or red, the government has confirmed.

In a press conference from Number 10 Downing Street, transport secretary Grant Shapps revealed the red list countries, which will incur the tightest regulations for returning travellers, and the green list, which come with the lightest restrictions.

Everywhere else will be classed as amber initially.

This includes the majority of Europe, plus Canada and the US.

Travellers have been advised they “should not be travelling to ‘amber’ and ‘red’ countries for leisure”. Those returning from amber countries must be prepared to spend 10 days quarantining at home upon their return to the UK.

They must also provide a negative Covid test result before departing for British shores, plus pay to take two PCR tests on arrival: one on day two and one on day eight.

Private PCR tests in the UK cost £120 on average, although prices are becoming increasingly competitive, with one firm confirming it would be providing them for just under £50.

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Tui, the UK’s largest tour operator, recently announced it would offer customers PCR tests for just £20.

Although being on the amber rather than the green list will come as a blow to European destinations reliant on tourism, there is light at the end of the tunnel, according to travel industry insiders.

The lists are expected to be reviewed and updated every three weeks.

Travel consultant and CEO of the PC Agency Paul Charles has previously said: “We believe Europe will mostly turn green by end of June, as will the USA.”

Meanwhile, the main holiday destinations on the green list include Portugal, Gibraltar and Iceland.

Those travelling from red list countries must pay £1,750 to stay 11 nights at a government approved quarantine hotel, while those hailing from green list countries are not required to self-isolate but must take one PCR test within two days of arriving back in the UK. All travellers must provide proof of a negative Covid test - be it PCR, antigen or lateral flow - before departing for British shores.

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