Friday 7th May 2021 was the day that we have been eagerly awaiting for months. The day when we would finally receive a list of the first countries to make it onto the GREEN traffic light list.
The initial list is short but will be added to over the coming weeks. A re-opening that we agree should be cautious but sustainable.
It’s rather complicated (for a change), so we have put together a Q&A to help you to understand exactly which countries can be travelled to from Monday 17th May and what you will need to do, in order to get there….and get back. We will also list the Amber and Red countries too and their travel requirements.
This is an evolving situation, so as and when new announcements are made, we will keep you informed.
As we dust off our suitcases and passports, our travel dreams are no longer so distant. Soon we will be reuniting with family and friends, experiencing foreign lands, enjoying delicious cuisines, marvelling at history, culture & architecture and immersing ourselves in the hospitality so graciously offered across the globe.
As always, when the time is right for you to travel again, please make Haslemere Travel your first port of call. It would be our pleasure to assist you – 01428 658777 / [email protected]
Q&A – Restart of International Travel
Q: Will international travel resume on 17th May?
A: Yes. From this date it will no longer be illegal to travel and the ‘permission to travel form’ will be removed, meaning travellers will no longer need to prove they have a valid reason to leave England.
Q: Where can I go from 17th May? Which countries are on the GREEN List
A: The first 12 countries to be added to the green list have been announced as follows: Portugal (including Madeira & The Azores), Israel, Gibraltar, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Singapore, Ascension Islands, Tristan da Cuna & St Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Q: How often will the traffic light list be reviewed?
A: Today we were advised that this will be in 3 weeks time. If sooner, then we will update you.
Q: What does the traffic light system mean for testing and quarantine?
A: When you travel with Haslemere Travel, we will ensure that you have the most up to date advice, specific to the destination that you are travelling to. Taking into account the entry requirements for each country and the FCDO advice. However, in brief the traffic lights work like this:
Green – Arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test (likely a lateral flow test – TBC) as well as a PCR test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into the UK, BUT will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday.
Amber – Arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of ten days and take a pre-departure test, a PCR test on day 2 and day 8. There is also the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early.
Red – Arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for “red list” countries which includes a 10 day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8
Green Watchlist – To give passengers more certainty when travelling, a “Green Watchlist” will be introduced to help identify countries most at risk of moving from Green to Amber. The watchlist will provide greater assurance for those who wish to travel abroad. The allocation of countries will be kept under review and respond to emerging evidence, with a particular focus on Variants of Concern. Please note that there is currently no ‘green watchlist’.
Q: Where can I get a PCR test and how much will it cost?
A: We have been working hard with some selected PCR suppliers to obtain preferential rates for our clients. For all bookings with Haslemere Travel, we will provide you with options to choose from and discount codes to access better prices. You’ll be pleased to hear that these prices are certainly not as high as tests last summer.
Q: Will I need a ‘Vaccine Passport’?
A: Not a ‘passport’ as such. The existing NHS app will be used to show proof of vaccination. If you do not have a smart phone, then you may request paper confirmation from your GP surgery. I would suggest that if you are keen to travel, even later in the year, that you download this at your earliest convenience, as it does need verifying.
Q: Will I still need to complete a PLF (Passenger Locator Form)?
A: Yes. To ensure the UK’s borders remain safe and efficient when passenger flows increase, the Government has also announced plans to digitise the Passenger Locator Form, integrating it into the UK border system and enabling checks to take place at e-gates by Autumn 2021.
Q: What is the best way to ensure that I am fully informed and my holiday is fully protected?
A: Simple – book with a fully bonded and financially protected travel company, like us. We will always provide you with honest and impartial advice and guidance from our first conversation and until you return home.
Q: Is there anything else I need to think about?
A: Yes. Just because a country is on the ‘green list’, doesn’t necessarily mean you can travel there. Take for example Australia and New Zealand (on todays green list), where their borders are currently closed. You also need to consider whether the FCDO advises ‘against all but essential travel’. If this is the case, a different travel insurance policy would be required.
Q: Do I still need to take a PCR test even if I’ve had both vaccines?
A: At the moment yes, but this may change in time.
Q: Do I need special travel insurance?
A: You definitely need travel insurance and you should ensure that it has ‘Covid cover’. If your current provider won’t offer this then please let us know and we will provide you with some additional information on companies that our clients have used with success, that do offer Covid cover.
Q: Can I travel to a country on the AMBER list?
A: Yes you can. You must however abide by the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to (if there are any). As per the above information, currently when you return to the UK you will need to quarantine for a period of ten days and take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8. There is also the option for ‘Test to Release’ on day 5 to end self-isolation early.
Q: What countries are on the AMBER list?
A: Afghanistan, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Anguilla,
Q: Can I travel to a country on the RED list?
A: Yes you can, as international travel is no longer illegal. The government advice is still to only travel to red list countries in extreme circumstances. Again you will need to abide by the FCDO advice, the entry restrictions for the country you are travelling to and upon your return to the UK you will need to stay for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8.
Q: What countries are on the RED list?
A: Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh,