The U.K. plans to reopen its borders to international travelers using a traffic light system by summer, lifting an overseas travel ban that has been in place since the country entered its third lockdown in January.
International travel restrictions are currently scheduled to end on May 17, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that date is not definite.
The percentage of the population that has been vaccinated
The rate of new infections
The prevalence of concerning COVID-19 variants
The availability of reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing in the country
Countries with high vaccination numbers, low infection rates and low incidents of concerning variants will be placed on the “green list.” Countries with low vaccination numbers, high infections rates and high incidents of concerning variants, such as the Brazilian and South African strains, will be placed on the “red list.”
The rules for travelers coming from each destination category are as follows:
Green Travelers do not have to quarantine, but they must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test and a PCR test on day two of their arrival in the U.K.
Amber Travelers must quarantine for 10 days unless they receive a negative PCR test result taken at least five days after their arrival in the U.K. They must also take a pre-departure COVID-19 test and PCR tests on day two and day eight after their arrival.
Red Travelers must quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved hotel. They must also take a pre-departure test and PCR tests on day two and day eight after their arrival in the U.K.
Travelers entering the U.K. must use government-approved PCR tests, which can cost as much as £160, approximately $222 USD. However, officials are working on ways to reduce the price of tests to make traveling more affordable.
Randox, the U.K.’s largest PCR test supplier, recently announced that it will start offering tests for £60, around $83 USD.
While no official list of “green” destinations has yet been released, experts predict that Ireland, Israel, Iceland, Gibraltar, Malta, Portugal, Jamaica, Barbados, Morocco and Grenada could all make the cut.