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UK’s ‘Traffic Light System’ for Travel
Your Questions Answered


UK’s ‘Traffic Light System’ for Travel – Your Questions Answered

The UK is introducing a new 'traffic light system' when overseas travel reopens on 17th May 2021. Our handy blog will answer all your questions on the new traffic light system and aims to simplify the rules and regulations surrounding the reopening of international travel. The blog will be updated as and when the UK government release further information. 


When will international travel reopen?

Following guidance from the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce, international travel from the UK is set to resume on 17th May 2021. This date is subject to change and we will keep you up to date on the latest information.


What is the new ‘traffic light system’?

The UK will introduce a new ‘green’ and ‘amber’ level to the government’s existing ‘red’ list of countries making up the new traffic light system. Each destination will be categorised depending on several factors including the country’s vaccination programme, the rate of infection, the prevalence of variants of concern and the access to reliable scientific data.

When the new traffic light system is launched, the current ban on non-essential travel will be removed.


What are the current testing and quarantine requirements for each category?

Each category will come with its own testing and quarantine requirements which will replace the current rules and restrictions.

The below table outlines the current requirements for green, amber and red list countries:

Measure Green Country Amber Country Red Country
Passenger Locator Form Yes Yes Yes
Pre-departure Test
(in destination)
Yes Yes Yes
Managed Quarantine at Hotel No No 10 days
Self-Isolation No 10 days N/A
Test to Release No On day 5 No
PCR Testing
(upon arrival in the UK)
On or before day 2 On or before day 2 On or before 2
Further PCR Testing
(upon arrival in the UK)
No Day 8 Day 8


Which countries are on the UK’s green, amber and red list?

Green List Countries

At present, these are the countries on the UK's 'green list':

- Australia
- Brunei
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Gibraltar
- Iceland
- Israel
- New Zealand
- Portugal including Madeira and the Azores
- Singapore

You can also check the green list countries here. The government have also stated that they will provide advance warning to travellers if it is likely that a country will move from the green list to the amber list.

Amber List Countries

A list of the most up to date amber countries can be found here. 

Red List Countries

A list of the most up to date red countries can be found here.


Where can I access the ‘Passenger Locator’ form?

All passengers entering the UK are required to complete a ‘Passenger Locator’ form before arrival. The form must be completed and submitted within 48 hours of arriving into the UK. Passengers will need to show the form when checking in to travel or board the plane, ferry or train to the UK. The passenger locator form can be found here.


Will I still need to fill in a ‘Permission to Travel’ form when travelling?

Once international travel has resumed on the 17th May 2021, travellers will no longer need to prove they have a valid reason to leave the country. As a result, the ‘Permission to Travel’ form will be removed and passengers will no longer need to fill these in.


We are here to help

If you have any questions or queries surrounding the reopening of international travel, our dedicated team are on hand to help guide you through the varying travel rules and regulations. Contact us online or call 01892 673422.

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