Brits will soon find out which countries they will be able to travel to without the need to quarantine on their return under the government’s new ‘traffic light system’. The so-called ‘green light’ countries will be announced in the next couple of weeks, ready for the next stage in the government's roadmap for lifting lockdown, due no earlier than the 17th May 2021.
This comes as the UK government announces they will be introducing vaccine passports for international travel and will be adapting the current NHS app for this purpose.
The government has indicated plans for a ‘traffic light’ system to be used to categorise different overseas destinations. They are currently considering four different factors when deciding on each country and where to place it in terms of the ‘traffic light’ system: county’s rate of vaccination; rates of coronavirus in said country; how many concerns there are about various mutations of the virus in that location; and accuracy of reporting in said country.
The government are expected to allow travel to countries listed as ‘green’ under the new traffic light system, but it is predicted that you will need to take a test before departing as well as a PCR test on day two of your arrival back into the UK. It is also likely that travellers will need to check the rules for the country they are travelling to, as they will more than likely have their own set of rules also. It is thought that these additional rules per country could include a requirement to take a test or show proof of an approved Covid-19 vaccination in the form of a certificate.
It is expected Brits will be able to travel to ‘amber’ listed countries with some strings attached. It is thought that travellers will need to quarantine for 10 days on their return, as well as taking a test prior to arriving back in the UK. It is also thought that additional PCR tests on day two and eight when you arrive back in the UK will be a requirement. You may have the option to pay for an additional test on day five of your quarantine to end your self-isolation early.
Travel to ‘red’ listed countries is likely to be permitted but at a substantial price as you will have to quarantine for 10 days at a government-managed hotel at a cost of £1,750. In addition, you must pay for a pre-departure test prior to entering the UK followed by PCR testing on days two and eight of your quarantine.
The UK government have announced plans to use the NHS app as a passport for international travel. The NHS app will be used to allow Brits to demonstrate whether they have had the Covid-19 vaccination or recently tested negative for the virus before travelling abroad.
The government have confirmed work on developing the NHS app has begun, but they are yet to confirm when the app will be ready.
A further government announcement is expected at the beginning of May, and this should give a more in-depth update on international travel and vaccine passports.
Date Created: 16/06/2021