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When is the next green list update announcement?


On 17 May, foreign leisure travel got the go-ahead in England.

Holidays were able to resume under a traffic light system, with destinations graded as red, amber or green according to the level of risk of travellers reimporting Covid-19 infections.

The traffic light lists were reviewed and updated every three weeks until September, but on 17 September, the Department for Transport announced that the traffic light system would be scrapped from 4 October.

From that date, the former three lists – red, green and amber – will be replaced by two lists, of destinations deemed safe for travel and unsafe for travel by the UK government and scientific advisors.

But which countries are currently on the “safe for travel” list, with the fewest restrictions for travellers?

Here’s what we know so far.

Which countries are on the green list now?

The green list as we know it will be scrapped from 4 October, in favour of a “safe” list of destinations UK holidaymakers are able to travel to.

Fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to take a pre-departure test before returning to the UK from the countries on this list, but must still take a “day two” test after arrival.

There are currently 43 countries and territories on this “safe” list.

But from 4am on Wednesday 22 September, eight countries will be added to it, taking the safe list to 51.

These are: Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya.

The safe or “ROW” (rest of world) list will sit alongside the existing red list of countries and territories that people should not travel to outside of extreme circumstances – there are currently 62 destinations on that list, but after the eight countries.

It is unclear at present how often the lists will be updated after the 4 October change.

This is the green list at present:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • The Azores
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Israel and Jerusalem
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Madeira
  • Malta
  • Montserrat
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Romania
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

Which countries will be on the new “safe” list from 4 October?

After the eight additions on 22 September, the new-look list will contain 51 countries:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • The Azores
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Egypt
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Israel and Jerusalem
  • Kenya
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Madeira
  • The Maldives
  • Malta
  • Montserrat
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Romania
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

What are the rules for countries on the new version of the green list?

At the moment, travellers must take a pre-departure “fit to fly” test before returning to the UK from green list countries, as well as a “day two” test in the two days after arrival.

But from 4 October, the rules will change for the “ROW” or “safe list”.

From this date, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to take a pre-departure test before travelling back to the UK from countries on the new ROW list.

However, they will have to take a day two test for the time being.

As a bigger change, unvaccinated travellers will have to self-isolate for 10 days once in the UK, regardless of whether they’re returning from a red or ROW-listed country.

They must take a day two and a day eight test, with the option to pay for an extra “test to release” on day five to exit isolation slightly earlier.

From “late October”, the DfT has said that fully vaccinated people will also be able to take lateral flow tests instead of a costly PCR test for their “day two” – with more details to be released.

“Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England,” reads a statement from the Department for Transport.

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