Editor’s note: this week’s content has been updated with the latest information.
For the latest guidance, check Coronavirus Travel Advice, FCDO foreign travel advice and local government advice for the country you’re visiting.
Keep reading below to see our breakdown of travel restrictions, new red list destinations, the latest travel news or see the full official guidance here.
Travel news updates: 20th September
Travel to America back on from November: US travel ban lifted
US restrictions on travel from the UK and EU are to be lifted from November, the White House has confirmed. For the first time in 18 months, fully vaccinated holidaymakers will be able to board flights from the UK to popular destinations like New York, Orlando and Boston. Testing and contact tracing requirements are likely to be in place, and we’ll know more as we approach the reopening date.
Travel news updates: 17th September
Travelers returning to England will no longer need to take PCR tests
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that fully vaccinated travelers will no longer need to take a pre-departure PCR test before arriving in England, if returning from a non-red list country. This will come into effect from October 4. Testing will be further simplified later in October, with plans to replace the day 2 PCR test with a far cheaper lateral flow test. Currently this only applies to England.
UPDATE: The Scottish Government has confirmed that it will merge the green and amber lists from October 4, but won’t be dropping PCR test requirements. Travelers will still need to take a PCR test before flying into Scotland from non-red list countries, followed by a further test on day 2.
Turkey, Pakistan and Maldives among eight countries moving off red list
From 4am on September 22, eight countries will be removed from the red list. This makes travel from these destinations far easier, as there’s no requirement for quarantine at a designated hotel.
- The Maldives
- Sri Lanka
Traffic light system to be scrapped in favor of a single red list
The traffic light system for travel will be simplified from October 4. The removal of the green and amber tiers mean that any country not on the red list will be considered safe to visit. It’s likely that different rules will remain in place for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers, with the latter still expected to quarantine and take PCR tests.
Fully vaccinated travelers from the UK and other “high-risk countries” will no longer need to quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands. From September 22, vaccinated travelers will simply need to present a negative COVID-19 test and go on to enjoy their holiday. Unvaccinated travelers are not currently allowed to enter the Netherlands, although there is an exception for children under the age of 18 if they’re travelling with vaccinated adults.
Travel news updates: 10th September
Lithuania offers free third night to entice tourists
Lithuania – known for its rich history, fairytale cities and lush forests – is offering foreign tourists a free third night in its hotels. The country’s government has earmarked more than €750 thousand to cover the cost. Ausrine Armonaite, the country’s Economy and Innovation Minister, hopes it will encourage tourists to stay for longer, saying “We want people who come to Lithuania for a weekend or a few days to stay longer here.” The incentive runs until November 8, but may be extended.
Read more about visiting Lithuania
- 15 best places to see in Lithuania
- 11 traditional Lithuanian dishes you must try
- 21 most Instagrammable place in Lithuania
- Cheap flights to Lithuania
Russia drops 14 day quarantine period for UK travelers
From September 4, travelers arriving in Russia from the UK no longer need to undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine. However there is an exception for travelers arriving for permanent work purposes, including Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) visa holders, who will still be asked to self-isolate for two weeks. Passengers also need to bring a negative COVID-19 test certificate, taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Russia is currently on the UK’s amber list for travel.
Travel news updates: 7th September
Canada reopens to fully vaccinated foreign travelers
As of September 7, Canada has opened its borders to fully vaccinated foreign nationals – including Britons – visiting for non-essential reasons. To count as fully vaccinated, travelers must have proof that they’ve received a full course of one of the COVID-19 vaccines accepted by the Canadian government at least 14 days before travel. These are Pfizer-Biotech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). In addition, a COVID test must be taken at least 72 hours before arrival, and passengers will also need to register their details with ArriveCAN before flying.
Travel news updates: 2nd September
Mainland Portugal drops 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated UK arrivals
Under new travel rules, unvaccinated UK visitors to mainland Portugal will only need to show a negative COVID-19 test on arrival – just like fully vaccinated travelers. The removal of the 14-day quarantine means it’s easier for unvaccinated travelers to visit, however it’s worth noting that mainland Portugal remains on the UK amber list for travel. This means unvaccinated travelers will need to quarantine for ten days when they get back to the UK, and take a PCR test on both day two and day eight. Fully vaccinated travelers can treat Portugal as a green list destination.
Abu Dhabi lifts quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers
From September 5, double-jabbed travelers will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival in Abu Dhabi. They will still be required to present a negative PCR test before flying, and take an additional test on arrival. Travelers from the UK will also need to take additional tests on day four and day eight after arrival. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, which has been on the UK’s amber list for travel since August 5.
Travel news updates: 1st September
Antigua & Barbuda will require COVID-19 vaccine for hotel stays
From October 1, only fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed to stay in Antigua and Barbuda hotels. The rule will apply to everyone aged 12 and older. It’s also worth noting that, from now until the end of September, all travelers over five must provide a negative PCR test – even if fully vaccinated. Alex deBrito, a spokesman from the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association (ABHTA), said “We took this decision because we need to make sure that our staff feel safe … while hospitality is about service, the more our staff feel protected, the better the outcome.” Antigua and Barbuda is currently on the UK government’s green list for travel.
Travel news updates: August
- Italy has removed its quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated UK travelers who test negative for COVID-19. Find flights to Italy.
- The Azores, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein ,Lithuania and Switzerland added to UK travel green list from 4am on August 30.
- Thailand and Montenegro added to travel red list from 4am on August 30. Read about mandatory hotel quarantine after visiting red list countries.
- Italy’s flag carrying airline, Alitalia, has announced that it will be ceasing operations – and will cancel all flights from October 15. Find out what to do if your flight is cancelled.
- partnered with Let’s Get Checked to offer a 30% discount on Covid travel tests. Find out more about COVID tests for travel.
- Austria lifted its travel ban on UK arrivals, allowing Britons to enter Austria for non-essential purposes. Fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to undergo quarantine. Find flights to Austria.
- Italy is requiring anyone who wants to visit public places to show a “green pass” document confirming that the holder has either been vaccinated against COVID-19, tested negative for the virus within 48 hours or has recovered from it during the past six months.
- From August 12, Norway is allowing restriction-free entry to fully vaccinated Britons using the NHS Covid Pass app. This doesn’t yet apply to travelers from Scotland and Northern Ireland. Find flights to Norway.
- UAE flag carrying airline Emirates is hoping to ramp up to 73 weekly flights to Dubai by October. Find flights to Dubai.
- Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Norway and Romania added to green list from 4am on August 8.
- India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE move from red to amber from 4am on August 8.
- Mexico, Georgia, La Reunion and Mayotte added to the red list from 4am on August 8.
- Arrivals from France no longer need to self-isolate after August 8. Find flights to France.
What are the UK travel restrictions for green, amber and red countries?
The government currently advises against all but essential travel to countries on the red list. For fully vaccinated travelers, green list rules apply to amber list countries.
|Passenger locator form||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Test before departure||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hotel quarantine||No||No||11 nights|
|Self isolation||No||10 days||N/A|
|Test to release||N/A||Day 5||No|
|PCR test required||On/before day 2||On/before day 2||On/before day 2|
|Additional PCR test||No||Day 8||Day 8|
What are the entry restrictions for the new UK green list destinations?
|The Azores||Complete and submit a passenger questionnaire. Travelers aged 13 and older must take a PCR test within 72 hours of departure and upload the test result, or download an EU digital vaccination/recovery certificate.|
|Canada||British citizens cannot enter Canada at the moment (with some exceptions). However, the border will reopen to fully vaccinated UK travelers from September 7.|
|Denmark||Fully vaccinated UK travelers can enter for any purpose without testing or self-isolating.|
|Finland||Fully vaccinated UK travelers can enter for any purpose without testing or self-isolating.|
|Liechtenstein||Entry requirements are the same as Switzerland (below).|
|Lithuania||Fill in an online registration form within 48 hours of arrival. Provide a negative COVID-19 test on arrival, and self-isolate for ten days. An additional PCR test must be taken between day three and five of quarantine.|
|Switzerland||Fully vaccinated UK travelers can enter for any purpose without testing or self-isolating. If travelling by air, fill in a passenger locator form.|
What are the UK green list countries? Full list, and entry restrictions
Currently there are 27 green list countries from which arrivals don’t need to quarantine, and 16 countries on the green watch list, which could quickly turn amber if cases rise. It’s important to note that restrictions are not reciprocal, and so there may be additional rules for British citizens when visiting the country. Always check the government’s foreign travel advice pages for the latest advice.
|Germany||Only fully vaccinated Britons can enter Germany from the UK. Exceptions apply for family members of German citizens, those serving an important role, or anyone with an urgent need to travel.|
|Austria||Fully vaccinated travelers don’t need to self-isolate.
Unvaccinated arrivals must present a negative PCR test or proof of recovery, and spend ten days in self-isolation.
|Slovenia||Present a negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination certificate or proof of COVID-19 recovery in the past 8 months.
Otherwise, quarantine for 10 days (with the option to test and release on day 5).
|Slovakia||Only fully vaccinated Britons, and those with a close link with Slovakia, are permitted to enter from the UK.
Complete a Passenger Locator Form and Ehranica form.
Take a PCR test within 72 hours of travel.
|Latvia||Only fully vaccinated travelers, or those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months, are allowed to visit Latvia for non-essential purposes.
Take a PCR test 72 hours before arrival, or an antigen test at least 48 hours before arrival.
Fill in an electronic form within 48 hours of arrival.
|Norway||No restrictions for NHS Covid Pass app holders (England and Wales only).|
|Romania||The UK is on Romania’s ‘Red List’.
Unvaccinated travelers: quarantine for 14 days (unless leaving within 72 hours: must have a negative PCR test).
No quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers or those who have recently recovered from COVID-19.
|Israel (watch list)||Travel from the UK is prohibited|
|Singapore||Travel from the UK is limited to Singapore citizens and permanent residents.|
|Australia||All international travel on hold until 2022.|
|New Zealand||Border closed to UK travelers.|
|Brunei||Travel is severely restricted. Visitors need special permission from Brunei’s Prime Minister’s Office.|
|Iceland||Provide evidence of full COVID-19 vaccination.
Complete a pre-registration form prior to arrival
Take a PCR test on arrival, with self-isolation until a negative result.
|Gibraltar||Fully vaccinated travelers coming from the UK don’t need to test before arrival.
Otherwise, take a PCR or Lateral Flow test up to 48 hours before arrival.
Take a free COVID-19 rapid test on arrival, and another on day 5.
Inform authorities if you’ve travelled to a red or amber list destination within 10 days of your arrival.
|Falkland Islands||Tourists are currently not allowed to visit.|
|Faroe Islands||Fully vaccinated: quarantine-free, with no testing.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated: have a “worthy purpose” to visit. Provide a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of flight check-in. Take a PCR test on arrival. Quarantine for 10 days (with the option to test & release on day 4).
|South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands||Access is restricted and visitors require a permit.|
|St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Ascension Island||St Helena: provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure. Quarantine for 10 days.
Tristan da Cunha: tourists are not currently allowed to visit.
Ascension Island: permit required. Otherwise, same rules as St Helena.
|Malta||Only fully vaccinated Britons can visit Malta.
Fill in a Public Health Travel Declaration Form and Passenger Locator Form, to be presented on departure and arrival.
|Madeira (watch list)||Complete and submit a traveler questionnaire. Take an RT-PCR test 72 hours before travel or provide evidence of full vaccination/recovery from COVID-19 in the last 180 days. Upload the result before departure.|
|Antigua and Barbuda
|Present evidence of a negative RT-PCR test taken within seven days of travel. Complete a Health Declaration Form on arrival. Undergo health screening (including temperature checks).|
|Present a negative PCR test result taken within three days of arrival. Submit an Embarkation/Disembarkation card 24 hours before travel, and upload the negative test result. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers: quarantine at an approved facility. Take a test & release PCR test on Day 5.
Fully vaccinated travelers: take a rapid PCR test on arrival. Quarantine at accommodation until a negative result is received.
|Complete an online questionnaire 24 hours before arrival. Present a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours before arrival. Take a pinprick Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) on arrival.
If negative: 5-day quarantine in a government-approved facility, followed by a PCR test.
If positive: pay for a PCR test. If also positive, quarantine for 14 days in a government approved facility.
Note: self-isolation is required even with a negative test, however some certified operators are offering managed tourist activities.
|Only fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to enter Grenada.
Pre-book approved quarantine accommodation and a COVID-19 test.
Apply for a Pure Safe Travel Certificate and obtain a negative PCR rest result within 3 days of departure.
Test on arrival, and quarantine for 48 hours.
|All adult visitors must be fully vaccinated (21 days since final dose).
Get prior approval from the Government’s Health Team (apply here).
Take a PCR test 3 to 5 days before planned arrival. Take a test on arrival.
|Only resident permit holders, Montserratians (plus dependents) and a few limited others are allowed to enter Montserrat.|
|Apply for a Bermuda COVID-19 Travel Authorization one to three days before departure.
Take a PCR test four days prior to arrival.
Test on arrival.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers: quarantine at a designated hotel for 14 days, and test again on day 14.
Fully vaccinated travelers: quarantine until (negative) result of entry test.
|British Antarctic Territory
|Only those with a valid permit from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) can enter Antarctica.|
|British Indian Ocean Territory
|British Indian Ocean Territory is not a tourist destination. Access is severely restricted.|
|A limited service to and from the UK is available with British Airways.
Get pre-authorization from the Cayman Islands Government.
Quarantine at a government facility for 14 days (unvaccinated) or 5 days (fully vaccinated).
|Borders currently closed.|
|Turks and Caicos Islands
|Apply for pre-travel authorization via the Turks and Caicos Islands Assured Portal.
Take a COVID-19 test less than five days prior to planned arrival.
Buy travel insurance with COVID-19 cover.
Fill in a health screening questionnaire.
|Bulgaria||Only Bulgarian citizens and long-term residents (along with their immediate family members) can enter from the UK.|
|Hong Kong||The UK is on Hong Kong’s list of “extremely high risk places.” Anyone who has spent more than two hours in the UK over the past 21 days will be denied entry.|
|Croatia (watch list)||Travelers from the UK need to present a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination or recovery status.|
|Taiwan (watch list)||Foreign nationals (aside from Taiwan residents) are currently not allowed to enter or transit Taiwan.|
Travel news updates – week commencing 31st May
Travel news updates – week commencing 24th May
Travel news updates – week commencing 17th May
Travel news updates – week commencing 10th May
Travel news updates – Government travel announcement, 7th May
- Travel Secretary Grant Shapps has outlined which destinations will have green, amber, and red status under the new traffic light system for travel. Green list destinations, of which there are 12, have the least restrictions while red list locations have the most.
- There are 12 countries on the travel green list, however the agreement is not reciprocal so in some cases there are entry restrictions for UK travelers planning to visit.
- Turkey, the Maldives, and Nepal joined countries like Brazil, South Africa, and India on the UK’s red list for travel. Anyone returning from these countries will need to spend 11 nights in hotel quarantine at their own expense. Find out more about hotel quarantine.
Travel news updates – week commencing 3rd May
Travel news updates – week commencing 26 April 2021
Travel news updates – week commencing 19th April
Travel news updates – week commencing 12th April
Travel news updates – week commencing 5th April
Travel news updates – 1st April
Travel news updates – March 2021
- Spain to lift UK travel ban from March 30, allowing Brits to visit without quarantine. However, non-essential travel is still illegal, until May 17 at the earliest. Find flights to Spain for later this year.
- Aer Lingus has announces its first ever transatlantic services from Manchester Airport with flights to New York JFK and Orlando launching on July 29, Barbados from October 20, and Boston from summer 2022. Read our top 5 tips for safe flights during the pandemic.
- £5,000 fine introduced for people going on overseas “without fair reason”. Non-essential travel may resume on 17 May. Read our flexible travel guide for tips on booking transferrable tickets.
- Traffic light system is being considered for international travel, indicating risk levels and restrictions, Find out what the current UK hotel quarantine rules are for arrivals from red list countries.
- Foreign governments and cruise lines consider admitting tourists based on COVID vaccine certificates and infection status. For more in-depth information, read about COVID vaccine certificates and health passes for travel.
- We asked the experts about COVID testing for travel.
- Easy Jet has announced two new flight routes to New quay, with non-stop flights from Manchester launching on 21 June and Glasgow on June 29. The latter will be the airline’s first-ever flight route from Scotland to Cornwall. Get inspired by 15 of the best places to visit in Cornwall
- Never mind the Caribbean – discover Scotland’s beaches this summer
Want to read more?
- Coronavirus travel advice
- Covid tests for travel: top tips from experts
- Where to go on holiday in July