The introduction of the traffic light system in May brought in a Green list, an Amber list, and an updated Red list of countries, with each color meaning different rules for testing and quarantining. Anyone traveling to a green list country is currently required to take one test before departure, and one PCR test on or before day two of arrival in the UK. No quarantine is required unless the test is positive, even if the traveler is not yet fully vaccinated.
This, of course, will change from October 4, with travelers able to visit any country that’s not on the red list, and simpler testing requirements for those who are fully vaccinated – though quarantine will be required from those who are not vaccinated from former green list countries.
Green list rules
What do you have to do if you travel to England from a country or territory on the green list? You must only have been in or traveled through a green list country or the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man in the previous 10 days.
You must follow these rules even if you have been fully vaccinated. You can read separate guidance on what you need to do if you are traveling abroad from England.
Before traveling to England
Before you travel to England you must:
- Take a COVID-19 test – you must take the test in the 3 days before you travel to England.
- Book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England complete a passenger locator form.
When you arrive in England
- After you arrive in England you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2.
- You do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.
- If you will be in England for less than 2 days you still need to book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test. You only need to take the test if you are still in England on day 2.
- You may need to self-isolate if NHS Test and Trace notifies you that you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Check the rules about NHS Test and Trace for more information
Rules if you’re fully vaccinated
If you’re coming to England from an amber list country and have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the bodies listed in this guide you:
- Must take a COVID-19 pre-departure test.
- Must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England – arrival day is day 0.
- Do not have to quarantine when you arrive in England.
Proving you’ve been fully vaccinated
- You’ll need to show your travel operator and border control proof you’ve been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine.
- You’ll also need to confirm that you’ve been fully vaccinated and can show suitable proof on your passenger locator form.
- If you cannot (or prefer not to) show proof that you’ve been fully vaccinated, you must follow the rules for those who are not fully vaccinated.
If your day 2 test result is positive
- If your day 2 test result is positive, you and your household must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day of the test is day 0.
- You will be given further advice with your test result.
Rules if you are not fully vaccinated
If you’re coming to England from an amber list country and are not fully vaccinated with an authorized vaccine you must:
- Quarantine on arrival at home or in the place you’re staying.
- Take a day 2 test after you arrive in England – on or before day 2
- Take a day 8 test after you arrive in England – on or after day 8
The day you arrive is day 0.
If your day 2 test is positive you do not have to take the day 8 test.
How long to quarantine for
It does not matter how long you’re visiting England you must quarantine at home or in the place you’re staying for either:
- 10 full days.
- The duration of your trip if it’s less than 10 days.
If you have been in a country or territory on the red list.
If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the red list rules.
For more information, please check https://www.gov.uk/ Guidance: Red, amber, green lists: check the rules for travel to England from abroad.