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Amber list countries: What are the rules for holidaymakers?
20 May 2021, 11:42 | Updated: 20 May 2021, 14:47
Over the past week, there has been a lot of confusion over amber list countries.
As lockdown restrictions continue to ease across the UK, the option of foreign travel has been reinstated.
However, the Government has set out a traffic light system, indicating which countries are safe to travel to.
Over the past week, since the rules changed, there has been a lot of confusion for holidaymakers, with senior officials giving mixed messages in their statements.
George Eustice, the environment secretary, said on Wednesday that people could go to amber-listed countries "if they feel the need" to visit family and loved ones, providing they follow the quarantine rules upon their return.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, said: "I think it's very important for people to grasp what an amber list country is: it is not somewhere where you should be going on holiday, let me be very clear about that."
Mr Johnson added: "Please bear in mind that you will have to self-isolate, you'll have to take tests and do your passenger locator form and all the rest of it."
Transport secretary Grant Shapps also stated that people "should not be travelling to these places [on the amber list] right now."
So, what are the rules for amber list travel and which countries are on the list at the moment? Here's what you need to know:
What if the country I'm looking for isn't on the green, amber or red lists?
While the Government has outlined travel information for a significant amount of countries and territories, these lists are not exhaustive.
The public is urged not to assume that because the destination is not on the amber list, it must be on the green or red list.
The best thing to do, if you cannot find the destination you are looking for, is look up the Foreign Office travel advice for that specific region here.
What are the rules if you're travelling to countries on the amber list?
There are more than 170 countries and territories on the amber list, including popular European holiday destinations like France, Greece and Italy.
While it is no longer illegal to travel to destinations on the amber list, it is strongly advised against for people to travel to these areas at this time.
The idea is to "prevent new Covid variants from entering the UK."
Before you travel back to England, you must:
- Take a Covid-19 test
- Book and pay for a private PCR test for day two and day eight of your return
- Complete a passenger locator form
- Quarantine at home for 10 days, unless you are told you can end quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme
Can I get travel insurance if I'm travelling to an amber list country?
As the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) advises against travel to amber list countries, travel insurance companies are not currently offering protection for those holidaying in these regions.
It is also important to note that if you've booked a holiday to a green list country and then it is moved to the amber list, your insurance will no longer be valid.
When will the green travel list be updated?
While the lists will be reviewed every three weeks, there is no guarantee that more countries will be added to the green list.
It is also possible that countries currently on the green list may be moved to the amber or red lists.
If you are booking holidays at the moment, you must remain vigilant and prepare yourself for last-minute changes.
It is expected the next review will fall between 1-4 June.
Amber list countries:
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Burkina Faso
- Cayman Islands
- Central African Republic
- Cook Islands
- Costa Rica
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Czech Republic (Czechia)
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- French Polynesia
- The Gambia
- Greece (including islands)
- Hong Kong
- Marshall Islands
- Myanmar (Burma)
- New Caledonia
- North Korea
- North Macedonia
- The Occupied Palestinian Territories
- Papua New Guinea
- Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Korea
- South Sudan
- Spain (including the Balearics and Canary Islands)
- Sri Lanka
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Martin and St Barthélemy
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United States (USA)
- Wallis and Futuna
- Western Sahara