US misses UK green list again

Jun 24, 2021

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On Thursday afternoon, Grant Shapps announced that England has added Malta and several other countries to its green list. Those changes include changes to its green, amber and red lists. However, the U.S. still has not made the country’s lowest-risk level of green.

It’s believed the full list of green list countries is as follows: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Balearic Islands, Barbados, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Madeira, Malta, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Additionally, Israel was added to the green watchlist, meaning it could soon turn amber.

Additionally, England has added six countries to its red list, including Tunisia and Haiti.

All countries and territories that are on the UK’s green list
All countries and territories that are on the UK’s amber list
All countries and territories that are on the UK’s red list

Shapps also announced that as of later this summer, fully vaccinated U.K. residents will not have to quarantine when returning from amber countries. The government will set out further details later next month.

Earlier on Thursday afternoon, the governments of Northern Ireland and Scotland added 16 countries and territories to their green list.

Related: Government will drop quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated amber arrivals

The majority of the world’s countries (including Americans) will remain on the amber list, which requires that travelers to quarantine for 10 days on return to the U.K. and take two pre-booked COVID-19 tests while in quarantine. Amber arrivals have the option to reduce the length of their quarantine if they arrive in England and purchase an additional COVID-19 test using England’s Test to Release scheme. After five full days of quarantine, they can take the third PCR test. If it returns a negative result, they can forgo the rest of their quarantine period, though they will still need to take the pre-booked day-eight test.

Red arrivals, meanwhile, continue to face the strictest requirements. Only British nationals or third-country nationals with residency rights in the U.K. are allowed to enter the U.K., though they must pre-book and undergo a 10-day quarantine stay at a government-approved hotel.

The government first released its green list on 7 May. Since that time (before today), there has only been one change to the green list — when the list moved from 12 to 11. In the last round of changes to the green list, Portgual was moved from green to amber, drawing outrage from the travel industry because of the little warning given to travelers and the wider industry. With the move of Portugal to amber, there have since only been two countries that Brits can visit without quarantine on either end of their trip.

Related: The 2 countries and territories you can visit from the UK without quarantine on either end

With that in mind, note that just because a destination is on the green list, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically an option for British travelers. The arrival country has to be willing to accept Brits, and each country will offer their own entry requirements. If you are interested in visiting a green-list country, check on its entry requirements to ensure that it will be open and accepting Brits. Australia, for example, which is on the green list, is not open to international travelers and isn’t expected to reopen its borders until at least 2022.

As a reminder, here’s a look at the requirements for each traffic light category, which travellers will have to abide by on their reentry to the U.K., noting that Test to Release only applies to England arrivals:

Previously, Shapps said that the government would review which countries are at each level of the traffic light system every three weeks. It’s also said that it will implement a “watch list” for travelers to know if a country is near a move from one level to another. For example, a “green watchlist” will show if a country is at risk of moving from green to amber.

Featured image of Westminster, London, England. View fromTrafalgar Square down Whitehall towards Big Ben by Scott E Barbour/Getty Images.

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