What are England’s latest Covid travel rules? | Coronavirus – The Guardian

Changes coming in from 4am on 8 August will initially apply to England but rest of UK could follow suit
Travel restrictions are changing for some travellers again – so keep up to date with our guide to the latest rules.
Every three weeks, ministers review the traffic light system that grades countries across the world on their case, vaccine and variant rate, then decide on changes to the green, amber and red list.
Those decisions were announced on Wednesday and will come into force from 4am this coming Sunday. They will initially apply to England only, with the devolved administrations considering whether to follow suit.
It is mostly good news for travellers, with no countries taken off the green list that means passengers do not need to quarantine when they arrive in the UK – regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.
New countries added to the green list are: Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway.
Several places that have been on the red list for some time are also being upgraded to the amber list: India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (which includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi). This means anyone fully jabbed can avoid isolating, while those who have not had both doses of a two-dose vaccine still need to quarantine for up to 10 days at home. France was also moved from the “amber-plus” list to the regular amber one.
However, there was some bad news, with Georgia, Mexico, Réunion and Mayotte added to the red list – meaning incoming travel is banned for all except UK residents and nationals, who themselves must quarantine in a hotel for 11 nights.
The cost of a quarantine hotel is rising substantially, in a move that will put off those allowed to still travel to the UK from red list countries from coming even more.
From 12 August, the cost for one adult will rise from £1,750 to £2,285, while the additional rate for further adults or children over the age of 11 in the same party will rise from £650 to £1,430. Kids over five will still pay the same rate of £325.
The mooted “amber watchlist” that ministers were considering introducing has been officially killed off. This would have been for countries at risk of going red, to warn travellers in advance of any changes. Despite some initial support from the Foreign Office and the Department for Transport, other cabinet ministers, Tory MPs and aviation industry figures said it would have complicated the traffic light system further and put more people off heading abroad.
France: Having been the sole country put on the amber-plus list three weeks ago due to the prevalence of the Beta variant, ministers caved and returned France to the regular amber list. That means anyone fully vaccinated in the US, UK or Europe with a vaccine approved for use by one of the respective regulators (FDA, MHRA and EMA) can avoid quarantine when they arrive. They must still test negative before they depart from France and again before day two after arrival, and must also complete a passenger locator form.
Spain: Ministers did consider putting Spain on the amber-plus list but decided against it, meaning the same rules apply as before, and the same as those that will be in force for France. Passengers returning from Spain will be asked to get a PCR test instead of a lateral flow one, so that if they do have Covid it can be more easily sequenced and checked for variants to monitor the level of Beta entering the UK.
Portugal and Greece: These also remain on the amber list, so travel is fairly uninhibited for those seeking a last-minute summer getaway.
US: Also still on the amber list. However, only Americans are allowed into the US from Britain, and even then they are formally discouraged from travelling to the UK. Washington has kept in place tough restrictions for those travelling across the Atlantic due to the prevalence of the Delta variant in the UK, where it now makes up about 99% of new cases and is partly blamed for fuelling a severe rise in cases stateside.
Sun-seekers and those who have waited 18 months to see family and friends have largely welcomed the opening up of travel further.
However, Tory MPs have targeted the expensive testing regime that passengers are still required to fork out for, and demanded the government do more to bring the prices of these down.
The Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi has also hit out at Pakistan not being moved to the amber list after India was. She said the reason for red list changes seemed political, with ministers, she alleged, deciding to move Qatar and the UAE because they were richer countries, and India seen as a significant trade target.
Qureshi said Pakistan was “not a country that was going to achieve our rates of vaccination” and so it was “complete discrimination” not to move the country to the amber list.

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