Which countries are on the travel green list and when is the next update?
Going on holiday abroad now depends on which list your destination falls under – with categories forming a traffic light system of green, amber and red.
For all British travellers, holidays are allowed to visit a select group of green countries, without the need to quarantine. The Goverment is to change the system on July 19 to allow fully-vaccinated Briton to visit “amber” countries under the same rules.
Double-jabbed visitors to amber list countries will still be expected to take a test after returning to the UK.
On June 30, 15 destinations were added to the green list, however 14 of these sit on a watchlist, which means they are “most at risk” of being downgraded to amber at short notice, leaving holidays in limbo.
Malta is the only new addition to avoid the watchlist, and while Madeira and the Balearic Islands are now green, their position remains in jeopardy.
Other destinations now on the green watch list include: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Balearic Islands, Barbados, Bermuda, British Antarctic territory, British Indian Ocean territory, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Madeira, Montserrat, the Pitcairn Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Israel, while still green, has been downgraded to the watch list too. Holidays are permitted to these destinations but there is a risk they could be moved to the amber list at short notice, meaning returning travellers would face quarantine.
Other countries are categorised as amber or red depending on vaccination rates, infection rates, the prevalence of variants of concern and the capacity to sequence genomes.
Reviews of the lists are set to take place every three weeks, with the next changes to the system likely to be announced on July 15 – ahead of the lifting of domestic restrictions on July 19 and peak holiday season.
People coming from green list countries have to provide a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure and then pay for a PCR test on or before their second day back in the UK. You can see our full day-by-day checklist of holiday requirements here.
Those returning from an amber country have to quarantine at home for 10 days, unless they are fully vaccinated. They have to take a pre-departure test and two PCR tests when back, on days two and eight. Fully vaccinated travellers will be required to take one PCR test on their return and can avoid quarantine.
Britons returning from red countries must quarantine for 10 days in government-approved hotels at their own expense, as well as the pre-departure test and the two tests once back.
Below are the details of the destinations listed green (plus watch list) and whether they are restricting entry to British nationals.
All arrivals between the countries can dodge quarantine on arrival with proof of immunity. Israel will only accept vaccinated holidaymakers and requires a test for biological proof that visitors have been jabbed.
Bars and restaurants are open again in Gibraltar and face masks are only required on public transport. What’s more, British Airways has launched flights from London City to Gibraltar.
The British Overseas Territory is welcoming both vaccinated and non-vaccinated UK visitors.
If you have not yet received both doses of the vaccine, you must arrive with a negative lateral flow test, take another test within 24 hours of arrival and another for your fifth day should you be there for more than a week.
Fully vaccinated travellers must do the same, but do not need to arrive with a negative test.
If you can prove you are fully vaccinated or “previously recovered” from Covid-19, you only need quarantine until you have received the result of your test on arrival. From July 1, you must wait 14 days after your second vaccination dose before visiting.
New Zealand has been shut for foreign visitors for much of the past year and is unlikely to reopen to British travellers for some time. Progress had presented itself recently when a “travel bubble” with neighbouring Australia was opened.
Health department secretary Brendan Murphy said in January: “Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus. And it’s likely that quarantine will continue for some time.”
Despite being deemed as “safe” for travel and granted a place on the green list by the UK Government, Australia will remain closed to the majority of international arrivals until at least the start of 2022, the Government has said.
“We won’t be seeing borders flung open at the start of next year with great ease,” Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told The Australian newspaper, saying “uncertainties that exist not just in the speed of the vaccine rollout but also the extent of its effectiveness to different variants of Covid, the duration of its longevity and effectiveness”.
However, if/when Britons are welcome, proof of a Covid-19 vaccination could be required.
Short term visitors from anywhere in the world are not able to enter Singapore without prior permission
There was some confusion over whether Malta was accepting the digital NHS app as proof of vaccination (in addition to the paper NHS proof), but they have now confirmed that they “will accept proof of full vaccination from travellers arriving from the UK in the form of digital COVID passes, this includes the NHS app or the vaccination certificate in digital or downloaded PDF form.” Fully vaccinated visitors do not need to quarantine on arrival.
The Balearic Islands
The Balearics (Mallorca, Menorca, Formentera, Ibiza) had long been a strong contender for green status – and they have finally graduated from the amber list. This confirms Grant Shapps’ decision to consider islands independently of their mainland counterparts. Visitors from the UK must present proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test.
Entry to Brunei is severely restricted. Anyone seeking to enter or exit Brunei must apply for a permit from the Prime Minister’s Office at least eight working days before the intended date of travel. See the Brunei Prime Minister’s Office website for further information, or contact the Brunei High Commission. Brunei has announced that travellers to Brunei will need to provide a negative Covid-19 RT PCR test on arrival, obtained within 72 hours of travel. Travellers who are given permission to enter Brunei will need to go into quarantine on arrival at a government-designated facility (usually a local hotel).
Fully vaccinated Britons can visit without the need to quarantine but will still be required to take PCR test and on day four of their trip. Non-vaccinated Britons will be asked to self isolate for 10 days.
Current visitor restrictions mean tourists are not permitted to visit the Falkland Islands, including via cruise vessels. Any arrivals are expected to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands has restricted access and visitor permits are required.
Saint Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha
All arrivals must have had a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours prior to departing for St Helena. Arrivals are subject to compulsory quarantine for 14 days. There are no other entry restrictions in force and foreign nationals are permitted to enter St Helena provided they meet the immigration rules.
Entry requirements in Anguilla remain strict. Only fully vaccinated travellers are allowed to enter the country. You must apply for permission at ivisitanguilla.com and submit a negative PCR test from a taken three to five days before departure.
Antigua and Barbuda
Restrictions, including testing and screening on arrival, apply to all visitors to Antigua and Barbuda regardless of vaccination status and ultimately it is the decision of the Quarantine Authority on who must self-isolate or quarantine on arrival.
According to the FCDO: “All travellers from the UK must present on arrival a valid Covid-19 PCR negative test result taken no more than three days in advance of your flight’s arrival.” Rules then vary depending on inoculation status. If vaccinated: “On arrival, you will undergo a rapid PCR test either at the airport or at your government-approved accommodation. You will need to remain on the premises of your accommodation and follow the quarantine rules until you receive the results of your second test. The government aims to return results within 24 hours but it is recommended that you book two nights’ accommodation.” Those who are not vaccinated will be quarantined, with the requirement to wear a tracking bracelet, until they undergo a second PCR test on day five – if negative they will be allowed out onto the island.
According to the FCDO: “Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, all visitors from a country classified by the WHO as having community transmission of Covid-19 (including the UK) will need to apply for a Bermuda Covid-19 Travel Authorisation 1 to 3 days before departure. By applying for a Travel Authorisation, visitors and residents agree to comply with Bermuda’s quarantine and public health laws instructions at all times. As of 20 June 2021, all travellers who are unimmunised and arrive in Bermuda must quarantine at a designated Quarantine Hotel at their own expense for 14 days.
“Immunised travellers with a valid negative, pre-arrival Covid-19 PCR test result must quarantine until they receive a negative result from their arrival Covid-19 PCR test. Immunised travellers without a valid negative, pre-arrival Covid-19 test result must quarantine until they receive a negative day 4 Covid-19 test.”
British Antarctic territory
If you feel so inclined to spend your holiday in the Antarctic then you may need a valid permit, which can be obtained from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in London. Apart from that and the distance, and the harsh landscape, nothing stands in your way.
The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are open to visitors. The FCDO explains: “Effective 15 June, all travellers who have been fully vaccinated with the final dose administered at least 14 days before travel will not be subject to an RT-PCR test on arrival or any period of quarantine unless ordered to do so by a Quarantine Officer as a result of entry screening.” Unvaccinated travellers face mandatory testing and seven days in quarantine.
Airports in the Cayman Islands are closed to all scheduled inbound and outbound international passenger flights until further notice.
Holidaymakers are welcome in Dominica, regardless of their vaccination status, but rules do apply. The FCDO states: “Arriving passengers must complete an online questionnaire 24 hours before arrival, and have a PCR swab test with a negative result taken up to 72 hours before arrival. This result must be uploaded and submitted with the questionnaire so that your arrival can be approved by email from the Dominican Ministry of Health. Without this email you will not be allowed to board the flight coming into Dominica.” Further screening is carried out on arrival; if this returns a positive result travellers will have to quarantine.
Good news for vaccinated travellers heading to Grenada – “effective from May 1 persons providing proof of full vaccination will be required to quarantine for up to 48 hours, pending a negative result from a PCR test, administered on entry, and paid in advance.” All travellers must pre-book approved accommodation for quarantine on arrival.
All travel to or from Montserrat is via Antigua, which is now on the green list. If you are travelling to Montserrat you must comply with Antiguan entry requirements – see above.
The borders on Pitcairn are still closed to all visitors.
Turks and Caicos Islands
Holidaymakers will find eased restrictions in Turks and Caicos. The FCDO explains: “Anyone arriving to the Turks and Caicos Islands is required to obtain pre-travel authorisation via the Turks and Caicos Islands Assured Portal.” This includes a negative test, proof of travel insurance with Covid cover and a health screen questionnaire.
What is the green watchlist?
Fourteen destinations now sit on the green watchlist – this means that holidaymakers can still travel to them without self-isolating on their return but they are also the “most at risk” of turning amber and having quarantine re-imposed. Portugal was given five days’ notice between being moved from the watchlist to the amber list.