It has been announced that the former “traffic light” lists of destinations will be scrapped from 4 October in favour of just two lists.
From that date, the green list and amber lists will combine to form one list of countries that are deemed safe for travel by the UK government, while the red list of destinations deemed unsafe for travel will remain.
The changes were announced by the UK government in the latest travel update on 17 September, and will take effect from Monday 4 October.
The new look “safe list” is described by the Department for Transport as the ROW or “rest of world” list.
Prior to the above changes coming into effect, from 22 September, eight new countries will move from the red list to the amber list (meaning they’ll be on the ROW list from 4 October).
From 4 October, fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK from these ROW destinations will no longer have to carry out a pre-departure test before returning to the UK - though this rule remains in place until then.
Fully vaccinated travellers will still have to do a post-arrival PCR test within two days of entering the country, until “late October”, when cheaper lateral flow tests will be allowed.
However, travellers who have not had both vaccine doses will have to self-isolate for 10 days even when coming from the countries on this new “safe” list - taking a day two and day eight PCR test. Those in England can take an extra ‘test to release’ PCR on day five to end quarantine early.
Unvaccinated travellers will still have to take a pre-departure test, too, before travelling into the UK.
The changes will initially only apply to arrivals into England. The devolved parliaments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are able to set their own rules.
Here’s everything you need to know about which countries will be on the new ROW list.
Which countries are on the green list now?
There are currently 43 nations on the green list of “safe” destinations:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The Azores
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Hong Kong
- Israel and Jerusalem
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn Islands
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- Turks and Caicos Islands
Which countries will be on the new safe or “ROW” list?
From 4am on 4 October, the above countries will be joined by all countries on the amber list, further bolstered from 22 September by eight new additions which moved up from the red list: Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya.
In other news, no countries were demoted to the red list at the latest update - to find out which countries remain on the red list, click here.
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