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All of the lights

The story of the traffic lights system – told in 10 countries across the world, green to amber to red.

Gibraltar

Now the only quarantine-free sunny destination available for Britons (on their return to the UK), Gibraltar’s will see a huge tourism boost this June, thanks to its place on the green list.

People arriving in the UK from green list countries, such as Australia, will need to take a pre-departure test in that country. On or before the second day after arriving in the UK, they will need to take a PCR test, but will not need to quarantine – unless they receive a positive test.

Gibraltar is the only country in the world whose adult population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Travellers who have only been in countries or territories on the green list in the preceding 14 days must book a free  lateral flow test before arriving in Gibraltar. The test must take place within 24 hours of arrival. Those remaining in Gibraltar for more than seven days must also take a second test on day five. They do not need to provide evidence of vaccination, or self-isolate.

See our feature here, plus there’s more on ABTA’s travel hub.

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Grenada

Like the rest of the Caribbean, Grenada has failed to make the UK’s green list, instead being placed on the amber list. This is despite the fact that the country has had just 161 cases of Covid since the onset of the pandemic and has reported no new cases since February.

Dr Clarice Modeste Curwen, minister for tourism, said: “We are extremely disappointed that Grenada was not added to the UK’s green list. It’s a huge blow for both holidaymakers and the travel and tourism sector.

“We’re proud to have successfully started rebuilding our tourism sector and welcoming back travellers from overseas while continuing to sustain no new cases of the virus, with 65% of visitors already vaccinated prior to arrival.

“We have spared no resources and implemented a stringent, rigorous and successful programme to control any spread of the virus, including the implementation and enforcement of non-pharmacological protocols and vaccinating 90 per cent of hotel workers in the tourism sector. In line with the UK government requirement, we also carry out regular genomic sequencing to check for variants.”

People arriving from amber list countries will have to quarantine for 10 days at home. They will have to take a pre-departure test, then a PCR test on days two and eight, but there will be an option for “test to release” in which they can end self-isolation early if they test negative on day five by purchasing an extra PCR test.

Since May 1, travellers providing proof of full vaccination will only be required to quarantine for up to 48 hours, pending a negative result from a PCR test, administered on entry, and paid in advance. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine.

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Malta

There was a great deal of speculation that Malta would make the initial green list and then the early June update. As it stands, Malta remains on the UK’s amber list, despite low Covid cases in the country. In the seven days prior to June 3, there were only seven infections per 100,000 people reported in Malta.

People arriving from amber list countries will have to quarantine for 10 days at home. They will have to take a pre-departure test, then a PCR test on days two and eight, but there will be an option for “test to release” in which they can end self-isolation early if they test negative on day five by purchasing an extra PCR test.

Malta has its own traffic lights system, with the UK will rated amber. This means all passengers travelling to Malta from the UK are required to have evidence of a negative PCR test, dated within 72 hours prior to arrival, before boarding flights to Malta. There’s more on ABTA’s travel hub.

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New Zealand

Like Australia, New Zealand may be on the UK’s green list, but its borders are currently closed to most arrivals.

People arriving in the UK from green list countries, such as Australia, will need to take a pre-departure test in that country. On or before the second day after arriving in the UK, they will need to take a PCR test, but will not need to quarantine – unless they receive a positive test. There’s more on ABTA’s travel hub.

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Australia

Australia may be on the UK’s green list, but its borders are currently closed to most arrivals.

Travellers who have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more can travel by air to Australia and will not require an exemption. There is information is available on the Department of Home Affairs website. However, the borders of New Zealand are closed to nearly all travellers.

People arriving in the UK from green list countries, such as Australia, will need to take a pre-departure test in that country. On or before the second day after arriving in the UK, they will need to take a PCR test, but will not need to quarantine – unless they receive a positive test. There’s more on ABTA’s travel hub.

 

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Iceland

Iceland – widely considered to have handled the coronavirus pandemic very well – made it on to the UK’s green initial list of countries. It reported just eight infections per 100,000 people in the seven days prior to June 3 and has vaccinated an estimated 35 per cent of the population.

People arriving in the UK from green list countries will need to take a pre-departure test in that country. On or before the second day after arriving in the UK, they will need to take a PCR test, but will not need to quarantine on their return – unless they receive a positive test.

Tourists entering Iceland from the UK must demonstrate they have either been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or previously recovered from Covid-19 infection. All travellers must pre-register before arrival.

When flying into Iceland without a certificate of vaccination, visitors must present a negative PCR taken within 72 hours of departure to Iceland, then take two Covid-19 tests, one on arrival and another five to six days later. Travellers must quarantine between tests, until you have the results (full guidance can be found on the Iceland website).

Read our guide to what’s new and alternative in Iceland here, plus there’s more on ABTA’s travel hub.

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Portugal

Portugal including the Azores and Madeira made it on to the UK’s green initial list of countries – providing a much-needed boost for the travel industry. Sadly, from June 8, the country will be placed on the amber list.

People arriving from amber list countries will have to quarantine for 10 days at home. They will have to take a pre-departure test, then a PCR test on days two and eight, but there will be an option for “test to release” in which they can end self-isolation early if they test negative on day five by purchasing an extra PCR test.

Tourists from the UK are able to travel to the country but must have had a negative PCR result within the previous 72 hours.

According to Cirium, more than 1,800 flights are scheduled to depart from the UK to Portugal in June – which accounts for almost 345,000 seats available. Seven airlines are scheduled to operate flights from the UK to Portugal in June, including Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways, TAP Portugal, Tui Airways, Wizz Air UK and Jet2.

Read our guide to what’s new and alternative in Portugal here, plus there’s more on ABTA’s travel hub.

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Turkey

Turkey is currently on the UK’s list of red list countries. Those who been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days will only be allowed to enter the UK if they are a British or Irish national, or have residence rights in the UK. Before travel to England, travellers must take a Covid-19 test, book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 Covid tests, and complete a passenger locator form.

Turkey was one of eight countries to which Tui recently cancelled trips citing ‘ongoing uncertainty’. The other countries affected are Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Egypt, Cape Verde, Morocco, Tunisia and Bulgaria.

Although the Turkish government has said it will allow Britons to travel for summer holidays without a vaccination certificate or negative Covid test, the Foreign Office advices against all but essential travel to the country – so that does not include holidays. Travelling against Foreign Office advice will nullify most travel insurance.

Despite its troubles in containing the virus, numbers are falling in the country – with cases at 13 per cent of their peak, according to Reuters. It reported 66 infections per 100,000 people in the seven days prior to June 1. It has vaccinated about 18 per cent of the population, according to some reports. There’s more on ABTA’s travel hub.

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USA

The USA didn’t make it on the initial green list, despite speculation about air corridors to encourage business travel, instead being marked amber.

People arriving from amber list countries will have to quarantine for 10 days at home. They will have to take a pre-departure test, then a PCR test on days two and eight, but there will be an option for “test to release” in which they can end self-isolation early if they test negative on day five by purchasing an extra PCR test.

Since March 2020, it has not been possible for most British nationals to enter the USA if they have been in the UK, Ireland, Schengen zone, Iran, Brazil, China, or, since January 2021, South Africa, within the previous 14 days. There’s more on ABTA’s travel hub.

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Spain

Spain, the most popular holiday destination for Britons, failed to make it on to the UK’s green initial list of countries – instead making it on to the amber list.

The Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canary Islands. Therefore, holidaymakers who are booked on a package holiday to travel imminently should be given the option of an alternative holiday or a full refund, unless  travelling to the Canary Islands.

People arriving from amber list countries will have to quarantine for 10 days at home. They will have to take a pre-departure test, then a PCR test on days two and eight, but there will be an option for “test to release” in which they can end self-isolation early if they test negative on day five by purchasing an extra PCR test.

Entry restrictions and testing requirements for arrivals from the UK to Spain no longer apply. However, travellers from the UK should be prepared to present evidence of a negative test if they have travelled to a country on Spain’s list of ‘risk countries’ in the 14 days prior to travel. There’s more on ABTA’s travel hub.

Cases are falling, with 63 infections per 100,000 people reported last seven days prior to June 3. According to reports, about 19.6 per cent of the country has been vaccinated.

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