These announcements are still eagerly awaited by Britons considering a trip abroad, with feverish speculation about any potential change.
There was movement on all three lists in the last update, with Canada and the Azores on the green list, but Turkey remained on the red list, a blow to hopeful vacationers.
This means that many countries remain on the Amber List (with quarantine for people who are not fully vaccinated) or the Red List (mandatory hotel quarantine) – that’s when the next review comes.
What happened with the last travel announcement?
On Thursday 26 August, the findings of the latest review were initially announced by the Scottish government, which ranked countries according to the rest of the UK.
A total of seven countries have moved to the green list for travel without quarantine:
- the Azores (Portugal)
No country on the Green List has changed status, but two countries have moved from the Amber List to the Red List with quarantine restrictions in hotels:
However, as expected, popular European tourist destinations on the Orange List – like Spain – have all avoided tighter restrictions.
It was announced that all changes will go into effect from 4:00 a.m. on Monday, August 30.
Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said after the announcement: “The latest changes are welcome for Scots with relatives in Canada, but once again show that international travel remains difficult. “
He added, “It is vitally important that we protect this progress through continued vigilance on importation, and we continue to urge caution given the risks caused by the variants of concern. “
When is the next travel advisory?
Reviews of countries on the green list of traffic restrictions at traffic lights in the UK take place every three weeks, with the latest announcement taking place on August 26.
This review took place on a Thursday (which was previously the most common day for updates), although the previous two announcements were both made on Wednesday.
Following this pattern means that the next travel sight is expected to arrive at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 16, although it is very possible that it will come a day earlier.
Unlike other major developments in Covid’s response, travel updates tend not to be accompanied by a government press conference – changes are instead tweeted by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps .
What are the rules of the traffic light system?
The traffic light system is decided on the basis of the following criteria:
- The percentage of a country’s population that has been vaccinated
- The infection rate
- The prevalence of worrisome variants
- The country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing
There are now five categories of traffic lights, two more than when Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps first announced the system in May 2021.
- Vert: arrivals must pass a pre-departure test three days before returning to the UK as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test no later than the second day of their return. Quarantine does not apply (unless the Covid test comes back positive) and there is no requirement for further testing.
- Green Watch List: the same rules as the green list. However, the countries on this list “are at risk of going from green to orange”, potentially in the very short term.
- Amber: all travelers must pass a pre-departure test three days before return and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test no later than the second day of their return. Unvaccinated travelers should also self-isolate for 10 days and have a second PCR test on day 8. An optional five-day additional test may be performed, with a negative result allowing unvaccinated travelers to “test” out of quarantine. The Day 8 PCR test should always be performed regardless of the result of the optional Day 5 PCR test.
- Rouge: arrivals from Red List countries must complete a 10 day stay in a managed quarantine hotel at a cost of £ 1,750 per person, pre-departure testing and mandatory PCR testing no later than day 2 and on or after the eighth day.