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Which countries are on the ‘green list’ for travel to the UK?

Travellers from all countries on the UK ’green list’ no longer have to quarantine on arrival

Huw Oliver
Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Huw Oliver
Contributor
Sophie Dickinson
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For most of us in the UK, this year has been a long old slog so far. But finally infection rates are plummeting, the economy is opening up and the vaccine rollout is continuing apace – all of which is making people look ahead to autumn, and specifically whether they’ll be able to go on holiday abroad.

Well, the good news is that non-essential travel from the UK is no longer banned. The UK has dramatically loosened its border restrictions and will now allow in travellers from ‘green list’ destinations – without requiring any form of quarantine.

RECOMMENDED: Six things you need to know before booking an overseas holiday right now

Since the UK moved on to the last stage of its reopening plan, the total ban on foreign holidays has been lifted, meaning UK residents can leave the country for the first time in months. Meanwhile, there are also new rules on which travellers will be allowed into the UK – whether they’re visitors from abroad or British residents returning from a holiday. Here’s what you need to know.

How do the new red and green lists work?

There are now only two lists – not the three ‘green’, ‘amber’ and ‘red’ categories. The UK ‘red list’ lays out the countries from which travel is absolutely forbidden, except for returning British and Irish citizens plus official UK residents.

Those arriving from destinations on the ‘green list’ (or ‘rest of world’ list), meanwhile, now no longer have to take a test before travelling back to England – as long as they’re fully vaccinated. Currently, you still have to take a PCR test two days after arrival, but these will be replaced by cheaper lateral flow tests later in October.

If you’re not double-jabbed, you still need to take a pre-departure test, alongside PCR tests on days two and eight after arrival. Travellers also have to self-isolate for ten days upon entry to the UK, although a ‘test to release’ scheme is still in place for travellers willing to pay for another test to leave quarantine on day five.

Those coming from ‘red’ countries still have to quarantine in a government-mandated hotel at a cost of £2,285 per head. 

Which countries are on the UK green list?

The following countries and destinations currently appear on the ‘green list’ for England:

Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Albania
Algeria
Andorra
Anguilla
Antarctica/British Antarctic Territory
Antigua and Barbuda
Armenia
Aruba
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bermuda
Bhutan
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
Bosnia and Herzegovina
British Indian Ocean Territory
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Chad
China
Comoros
Congo
Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue
Croatia
Cuba
Curaçao
Cyprus
Czech Republic (Czechia)
Côte d’Ivoire
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Fiji
Finland
France
French Polynesia
Gabon
Germany
Ghana
Gibraltar
Greece (including islands)
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guatemala
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Honduras
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Israel and Jerusalem
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kiribati
Kosovo
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macao
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Micronesia
Moldova
Monaco
Montserrat
Morocco
Myanmar/Burma
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
North Korea
North Macedonia
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Palau
Papua New Guinea
Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Samoa
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
South Sudan
Spain
Sri Lanka
St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
St Kitts and Nevis
St Lucia
St Maarten
St Martin and St Barthélemy
St Pierre and Miquelon
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria
Taiwan
Taiwan
Tajikistan
The Azores
The Bahamas
The Gambia
The Occupied Palestinian Territories
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tonga
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Turks and Caicos Islands
Tuvalu
UAE
USA
Ukraine
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Western Sahara
Yemen

On May 11, it was confirmed that the initial ‘green list’ for Scotland would be identical to England’s. Northern Ireland has said that it will also allow quarantine-free travel from the same countries. Wales has introduced a similar traffic light system, though first minister Mark Drakeford has advised Welsh citizens only to travel abroad for ‘essential’ reasons for the rest of the year.

Bear in mind that not all the countries on the ‘green list’ will be willing to allow visitors from the UK, especially those who haven’t been vaccinated yet.

And if your dream destination still isn’t on the list even after the next update? Have patience: it may not be long before it turns ‘green’ too. Keep your fingers crossed – that long-awaited holiday or family reunion could be on the cards very soon.

Here’s everything you need to know about travel from the UK to Europe after Brexit.

And if you’re worried about taking the plunge? Here’s how to book an overseas holiday this year – without losing your money.

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