Current as of Wednesday 28 April 2021 

Under the traffic light scheme, countries will be assigned a colour – green, amber or red – as a guide to the restrictions in place for travelling to and from them. 

These will be assigned in line with a number of risk factors, which will include: the number of vaccinations in a particular country; the rate of infection; whether there are any worrying variants at large; and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

For more and up-to-date information, visit the UK government's website.

What do the particular colours mean?

Green: arrivals will have to take a pre-departure test, as a well as a PCR test on or before their arrival back into the UK, but they won’t need to quarantine unless they get a positive test result.

Amber: arrivals will have to quarantine for 10 days and take a pre-flight test. Then, they’ll need to take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 of their quarantine, with the option to 'Test and Release' on day 5 to escape isolation early. 

Red: arrivals will be placed under the same restrictions already in action for ‘red list’ countries. These include an obligatory 10-day stay in a designated quarantine hotel, pre-flight testing and PCR tests on days 2 and 8. 

Test packages and quarantine hotels should be booked by the traveller before they set off.

What is a PCR test?

A PCR (polymarese chain reaction) is a swift Covid test that comes from a government approved outlet (more information can be found here). The traveller has to pay for these tests themselves, which cost from around £65 to £350, though most are about £150. You almost certainly won’t be able to travel without at least one of them for the foreseeable future.

Which countries are which colours?

The UK government hasn’t announced which countries will be green or amber yet – though they’re expected to reveal this in the first weeks of May. 

There is an existing group of ‘red list’ countries delineated by the government. These are countries from which travel is banned unless you are a UK national, and then you must quarantine on your return. The lists can be found via the UK government’s website here. For more information, check out our article 'Where can I fly with easyJet?'

What’s the view from Europe?

A number of countries have informally hinted that they would be happy to allow entry to fully vaccinated and negative-tested British tourists this summer – Spain, Portugal, Malta, Iceland and Gibraltar among them.

But it’s crucial to note that just because a country has welcomed the prospect of visitors from the UK, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be on the government’s ‘green list’. 

As with all travel guidance, nothing is guaranteed and all details are subject to change.

For more information on the possibility of foreign travel and recent developments in travel schemes related to vaccination, check out our article 'When can I go on holiday with easyJet again?'

For more information on the possibility of vaccine passports and green certificates, check out our article 'Can I fly easyJet with a vaccine passport?'

For peace of mind on booking your holiday this summer, check out our article 'All the reasons it's safe to book flights and holidays with easyJet'.