England has updated its traffic light system by adding France to its amber list, which removes quarantine requirements for travelers from that country. Several countries, including popular holiday destination Dubai, were also moved to the green list.
International travel in England resumed under a traffic light system in May, which sees countries and territories divided into three categories based on their COVID-19 risk: green, amber or red. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have similar rules.
The system is reviewed every three weeks, and today it was announced that France was bumped up to the amber list, meaning that arrivals no longer have to quarantine provided they are fully vaccinated. The United Arab Emirates, India, Qatar and Bahrain have also moved to the green list, with the new rules coming into effect on August 8.
We’re making some changes to our travel lists🚦
Firstly, we’re removing the quarantine requirement for fully jabbed travellers coming back from #France.
At the same time, we’re adding key destinations ☀️ Germany, Austria, and Norway to the Green List 🟢[1/3]
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) August 4, 2021
Germany, Austria and Norway are among seven countries added to the green list. But it was bad news for those traveling from Mexico as it was relegated from amber to red due to rising coronavirus case numbers there. The BBC reports that more than 6000 British holidaymakers are currently in Mexico, and they will need to return home before 4am (BST) on August 8 to be exempt from quarantine.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter: “While it’s right we continue our cautious approach, it’s great news to open more destinations for people wanting to connect with families, friends and businesses across the globe, all thanks to our successful domestic vaccination programme.”
All arrivals, except those traveling from within the UK or Ireland, aged 11 and over must take a PCR test before entering the country, as well as another test on day two of their arrival. Travelers are also required to fill in a passenger locator form. Then, depending on where you are coming from, there are some additional requirements to consider.
France was one of the countries bumped to amber ©Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images
The traffic light categories dictate whether holidaymakers will need to quarantine when they return home, or if the destinations should not be visited except in urgent circumstances. The green list represents destinations where infection rates are low and vaccination rates are high; and includes Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong among others. Some of the green list countries also have their own restrictions that will prevent British travelers from visiting, including Australia and New Zealand.
The amber list is made up of mid-risk countries and some of the major tourist destinations on the list include the US, China, Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal. Travelers arriving to England from amber countries are exempt from quarantine provided they have been fully vaccinated in either the UK, EU or the US.
Non-essential travel from red-list countries, that is places where the risk of COVID-19 is still very high, is banned. Anyone arriving into England from these countries must quarantine at a government-approved hotel at their own expense. The cost is currently £1750 for a single adult for the duration of the quarantine, but the government has confirmed that it’s set to rise to £2285 on August 12. For children between the age of five and 12, the cost remains the same at £325.
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