INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL: COUNTRY LISTINGS UPDATE FROM THE BRITISH GOVERNEMENT
- Arrivals from France will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated
- Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway to be added to the government’s green list for travel
- India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list
- Georgia, Mexico, La Reunion and Mayotte added to the red list to safeguard domestic vaccine rollout
The UK government has today (5 August) announced that arrivals from France to England will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.
The step aligns France with the rest of the amber list now that the proportion of Bêta variant cases has fallen, where those who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised and administered in the UK, US or Europe do not need to quarantine when arriving in England.
This move also simplifies the system to three categories, as well as the green watchlist to give travellers notice where green status is at risk.
To continue cautiously reopening international travel Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will be added to the government’s green list having demonstrated they posed a low risk to UK public health. India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list as the situation in these countries has improved. The data for all countries will be kept under review and the Government will not hesitate to take action where a country’s epidemiological picture changes.
Following an assessment of the latest data, Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will be added to the red list. They present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of COVID-19.
Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country. UK clinicians and scientists will remain in close contact with their counterparts in Spain to keep abreast of the latest data and picture of cases in Spain.
All changes announced today will come into effect at 4am on Sunday 8 August in England.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we’ve made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.
While we must continue to be cautious, today’s changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“As we learn to live with this virus we are continuing to take steps to safely reopen international travel, based on the latest data and expert public health advice.
The vaccines have already prevented around 60,000 deaths and 22 million infections in England, and with over 7 in 10 adults in the UK now double jabbed we are building a wall of defence against the disease.
As well as moving more countries to the green list, today’s announcement also demonstrates the need for continued caution. Further countries have been added to the red list to help protect the success of our vaccine rollout from the threat of new variants.”
All classification changes have been decided by ministers, informed by the latest data and analysis by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) and wider public health considerations, to help the public understand the risks to public health of travelling to different destinations. All measures announced today are designed to give travellers and the travel sector more certainty, will be kept under review, and further action may be taken to protect public health.
Since February, anyone who arrives in the UK from a red list country has been required by law to book a stay in a Managed Quarantine Facility for ten days. In order to ensure taxpayers are not subsidising the costs of staying in these facilities, which have gone up, the cost will increase from Thursday 12 August. Alternative payment arrangements remain available to those who genuinely cannot afford to pay and rates remain the same for children up to 12.
If travelling abroad, you need to take steps to keep safe and prepare in case things change before you go or while you are there. Check the booking terms and conditions on flexibility and refunds, because the situation remains fluid. Many travel firms have changed their terms to be fully flexible. Check and subscribe to FCDO travel advice updates to understand the latest entry requirements and COVID-19 rules – and passengers are advised to check all entry requirements and FCDO travel advice before they book any foreign travel.
- Georgia has been added to the red list due to increasing incidence in country and positive cases of those travelling to the UK
- La Reunion and Mayotte have been added to the red list due to the risk of high prevalence of the Bêta variant
- Mexico has been added to the red list due to increasing incidence in country, growing positive cases of those travelling to the UK, and the presence of the B.1.621 variant first identified in Colombia
- The additional precaution of a PCR test as passengers’ pre-departure test is being recommended for travellers from Spain given the risk to the UK of importation of variants of concern, specifically the B.1.621 and Bêta variants, as well as traveller volumes and positivity rates in Spain. Positive samples from PCR tests can be genomically sequenced, allowing us to detect and understand more about variants of concern.
- From Thursday 12 August, the cost for staying in a Managed Quarantine Facility when arriving from a red list country will increase to £2,285 for a single adult and £1,430 for a second adult to better reflect the increased costs involved with providing their quarantine, including transport to the hotel, security, provision of welfare services and the two PCR tests which must be taken on day two and day eight of the stay. The price remains unchanged at £325 for children aged 5-12 and free for children under 5.
- Mexico, Georgia, La Reunion and Mayotte will be added to the red list, meaning that only British and Irish citizens, and those with residence rights (including long-term visa holders), will be allowed to enter from these destinations, and must stay in a government-approved facility for 10 days.
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