Travel rules and regulations in the UK changed significantly on Monday 4 October.
In an effort to simplify travel rules, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the current travel traffic light system would be replaced by one red list and a “rest of the world” (ROW) list, an amalgamation of the previous green and amber lists.
Countries considered to have the highest risk in terms of infection rates were to remain on the red list, with arrivals from these countries to the UK still needing to fork out for a stay in a government-approved quarantine hotel.
While double-jabbed travellers journeying back to the UK from non-red list countries no longer have to carry out a pre-departure (or “test to fly”) Covid test, they are still required to book a Covid test (rapid lateral flow test or PCR test) to take within the two days after arrival.
If you haven’t had both doses of the vaccine (or your vaccine isn’t recognised by the UK yet), you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival and take two PCR tests on days two and eight (with the option to “Test to Release” on day five in England) - whether you’re arriving from a red list country or not.
But which countries are on the “rest of world” list? Here’s all the information you need to know.
Which countries are on the “rest of the world” list?
All countries are now on the ROW list.
The red list had previously been slashed to just seven countries - Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Venezuela - but these were removed in the latest government shake-up, announced on 28 October and coming into effect on 1 November.
However, the Department for Transport will continue to review the data every three weeks, with the possibility that destinations could move back down from ROW to red if a variant of concern emerges.
Can I travel to all countries on the “rest of the world” list?
No. Many of the countries on the list are closed to British arrivals or have restrictive quarantine rules in place.
New Zealand’s borders remain closed, for example, while Hong Kong and Australia remain out-of-bounds for UK holidaymakers.
Across the Pacific, however, Canada announced in September that it would be reopening to fully-vaccinated travellers.
The US is also set to follow suit, with double-jabbed travellers set to be allowed entry from 8 November.
Will the lists be updated as before?
Revisions to both the red and “rest of world” lists should continue to be announced every three weeks, with the next review expected on or around 18 November, although changes could happen more rapidly if the Covid situation in a country changes dramatically.
There is usually a grace period of around four days between such an announcement and changes being implemented, prompting a scramble for flights back to the UK.
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