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Latest Covid travel changes begin today with new red, green and amber lists

The new Covid travel lists have come into effect on August Bank Holiday Monday, changing the rules for going to and from a number of countries around the world.

Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Switzerland, and the Azores have been added to the green list from 4am on August 30.

Thailand and Montenegro are being moved to the red list at the same time. That means people coming into the UK from those places must quarantine in a managed hotel for 10 days.

READ MORE: Quarantine hotel rules – 10 must-know facts including cost and exemptions

There are now 44 countries on the British Government’s green list.

Green list rules mean no need for quarantining in a managed hotel at a cost of £2,285.

But there are still things you need to do. Before you travel to England from a green list country you must:

After you arrive in England you must take a Covid-19 test on or before day 2.

You do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.

If you will be in England for less than two days you still need to book and pay for a day 2 Covid-19 test. You only need to take the test if you are still in England on day 2.

Although staying in a quarantine hotel isn’t required for coming from a green list country, you may need to self-isolate at home if NHS Test and Trace notifies you that you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

The changes mean there are now 62 countries on the red list. The others include Mexico, Pakistan, Tunisia and Turkey.

Those entering England from a red list country must stay in a quarantine hotel.

A number of MPs have been urging the Government to move Pakistan to the amber list.

In a letter to the Government on August 24, Yasmin Qureshi (Labour, Bolton South East)Qureshi and a number of other MPs said keeping the country on the red list was causing ‘grievous suffering’ with many unable to see family members such as parents who are seriously ill.

Yasmin, who is chair of the All Parties Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Pakistan, said the Government could instead have a policy whereby people could travel if they had negative tests and approved vaccines. Arriving passengers could quarantine at home with repeat tests until the quarantine is over, she suggested.

There are 127 countries on the amber list including Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain (including the Canaries and Balearics) and the United Arab Emirates.

For those coming from an amber list country, you need to quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days – except if you’re full vaccinated.

But anyone travelling from an amber list country must take a Covid test in the three days before flying, and book and pay for further tests to be taken after arrival in England, along with completing a passenger locator form.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “Despite our world-leading vaccination programme, the UK’s economic recovery remains far behind our more pragmatic European neighbours, which are already reaping the rewards of a rapid recovery.

“It cannot be right that although 77% of us have been fully vaccinated we have a much more costly, prohibitive and restrictive testing regime than everyone else, when data suggests just four out of every 1,000 travellers tests positive for coronavirus on their return to the UK, less than the overall rate at home.

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“These stats strongly suggest PCR tests should only be needed following a positive lateral flow test.

“We also need to urgently end the uncertainty caused by the constant threat of changes to countries’ traffic light status. Our green list is much smaller than that of the US and EU, despite no new variants being transported into the UK.”

A spokesman for Airlines UK, the industry body representing UK-registered carriers, said the “small number of green destinations” is making international travel from the UK “more expensive, burdensome and uncertain compared to our neighbours”.

He went on: “Too many families are having to look over their shoulders for rule changes and pay through the nose for tests, with no sign from Government that this will change.

“As has already happened across Europe, it’s time for a more proportionate system where tests are dropped for the fully vaccinated and from destinations where Covid risks are low, with tougher measures targeted at a small number of high risk countries.”

Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon warned that “any loosening of restrictions carries with it risks, particularly from variants that could undermine the progress we have made on vaccines”.

The UK Government’s new Green List

  • Anguilla – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Antarctica/British Antarctic Territory – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Antigua and Barbuda – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Austria
  • Australia
  • The Azores – Moved to the green list 4am, Monday 30 August. If you arrived in England before then you must follow the amber list rules.. Mainland Portugal is on the amber list.
  • Barbados – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Bermuda – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • British Indian Ocean Territory – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada – Moved to the green list 4am, Monday 30 August. If you arrived in England before then you must follow the amber list rules.
  • Cayman Islands – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Croatia – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Denmark- Moved to the green list 4am, Monday 30 August. If you arrived in England before then you must follow the amber list rules.
  • Dominica – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland – Moved to the green list 4am, Monday 30 August. If you arrived in England before then you must follow the amber list rules.
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Israel and Jerusalem – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein – Moved to the green list 4am, Monday 30 August. If you arrived in England before then you must follow the amber list rules.
  • Lithuania – Moved to the green list 4am, Monday 30 August. If you arrived in England before then you must follow the amber list rules.
  • Madeira – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Mainland Portugal is on the amber list.
  • Malta
  • Montserrat – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Romania
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • Switzerland – Moved to the green list 4am, Monday 30 August. If you arrived in England before then you must follow the amber list rules.
  • Taiwan- Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Turks and Caicos Islands – Green watchlist – at risk of moving from green to amber.

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