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UK green list: Here is where you can go on holiday as international travel resumes

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 17/05/2021 Laura Sharman and Barney Davis

Passengers prepare to board an easyJet flight to Faro, Portugal, at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex after the ban on international leisure travel for people in England was lifted following the further easing of lockdown restrictions. Picture date: Monday May 17, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images Passengers prepare to board an easyJet flight to Faro, Portugal, at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex after the ban on international leisure travel for people in England was lifted following the further easing of lockdown restrictions. Picture date: Monday May 17, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)

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International travel has resumed with thousands of UK travellers jetting off to countries on the government’s green travel list on Monday.

Brits returning home from 12 countries will no longer have to self-isolate. The list includes Portugal, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar and Israel.

Traditional holiday spots including France, Spain and Greece have not made the green list due to higher Covid-19 cases and large sections of the population still waiting to be vaccinated.

Passengers prepare to board an easyJet flight to Faro, Portugal, at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex after the ban on international leisure travel for people in England was lifted following the further easing of lockdown restrictions. Picture date: Monday May 17, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images Passengers prepare to board an easyJet flight to Faro, Portugal, at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex after the ban on international leisure travel for people in England was lifted following the further easing of lockdown restrictions. Picture date: Monday May 17, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)

Those travelling to green list countries no longer have to self-isolate on their return but will be required to take a PCR test.

Non-essential foreign travel had been banned for four months and those returning from “red-list” countries are required to enter hotel quarantine on their return to the UK at their own cost.

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More on coronavirus:

Latest news and updates on India's Covid emergency

May 17 reopening: How measures across Britain are changing (The Guardian)

Thinking about a foreign holiday? What you need to know (Press Association)

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the removal of international travel restrictions from May 17 was “necessarily cautious”, adding: “We must make sure the countries we reconnect with are safe.”

Nepal, Turkey and the Maldives have been added to the red list.

What countries are on the green travel list?

Shutterstock / Sopotnicki © Provided by Evening Standard Shutterstock / Sopotnicki The green list consists of Portugal, Israel, Gibraltar, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland and the Faroe Islands and the Falklands.

This is in addition to the remote territories of the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.

Despite being on the green list, people are currently unable to go on holiday to Australia, New Zealand or Singapore as they are closed to UK tourists.

European hotspots such as France, Spain, Italy and Greece are not yet included due to higher infection rates. This will be reviewed every three weeks.


Video: Travel's green list: We answer your questions about summer holidays, Portugal and Australia (The Telegraph)

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Green list countries have been placed on a watchlist and if cases increase rapidly they will be taken off.

France and Spain said they will be reopen their borders to British and non-EU tourists from June.

The travel list is due to be reviewed every three weeks, meaning countries could switch to green ahead of school summer holiday.

How does the traffic light system work?

Passengers prepare to board an easyJet flight to Faro, Portugal, at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex after the ban on international leisure travel for people in England was lifted following the further easing of lockdown restrictions. Picture date: Monday May 17, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images Passengers prepare to board an easyJet flight to Faro, Portugal, at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex after the ban on international leisure travel for people in England was lifted following the further easing of lockdown restrictions. Picture date: Monday May 17, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)

Green: Travellers must take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back into England. Holidaymakers who test negative will not need to quarantine on their return or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests post holiday.

Amber: Arrivals must quarantine for 10 days. People must take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two and day eight with the option for “test to release” on day five to end self-isolation early.

Red: Those returning from red list countries must stay in a managed quarantine hotel for ten days which they should book before their trip. Travellers must complete pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day two and day eight.

Any advice on what to do in green list countries?

a group of people on a beach: REUTERS © Provided by Evening Standard REUTERS Here is our travel guide to Portugal, which is expected to be immensely popular, and our guide to spending 48 hours in Porto.

For Israel here is our guide on what to eat, see and do in Tel Aviv.

For Gibraltar, our rock, a little British outpost on the Southern tip of Spain you can use this guide.

Travellers wanting to jet off to Iceland can follow this road trip and then check out Deplar Farm one of best spas in the world,

What you need to know about PCR tests

Passengers prepare to board an easyJet flight to Faro, Portugal, at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex after the ban on international leisure travel for people in England was lifted following the further easing of lockdown restrictions. Picture date: Monday May 17, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images Passengers prepare to board an easyJet flight to Faro, Portugal, at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex after the ban on international leisure travel for people in England was lifted following the further easing of lockdown restrictions. Picture date: Monday May 17, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)

PCR tests must be booked through an approved Government provider.

Tests currently cost between £120 and £160, however ministers are looking at ways to reduce the price to just £45 to help boost the travel industry.

Mr Shapps told the Commons in April: “We’ve seen some success so far because the cost of a single PCR day two test now has come down to £60 from one of the large providers on the government-linked site with a new entrant now at £44.90, enabling more people to access PCR tests as international travel returns.”

What countries are currently on the red list?

Multiple funeral pyres of people who died of COVID-19 burn at the Ghazipur crematorium in New Delhi, India, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Amit Sharma) © ASSOCIATED PRESS Multiple funeral pyres of people who died of COVID-19 burn at the Ghazipur crematorium in New Delhi, India, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Amit Sharma)

Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bangladesh, India, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Nepal, Turkey and the Maldives.

What is a quarantine hotel and how much does it cost?

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Passengers are escorted through the arrivals area of terminal 5 towards coaches destined for quarantine hotels, after landing at Heathrow airport on April 23, 2021 in London, England. From 4am this morning, passengers landing in the UK from India are now required to stay in isolation at government-approved hotels for ten days, in a bid to prevent the spread of a new strain of the COVID-19 virus. Indian health services are currently struggling to fight soaring infection rates and a rapidly-rising death toll. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images) © 2021 Getty Images LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Passengers are escorted through the arrivals area of terminal 5 towards coaches destined for quarantine hotels, after landing at Heathrow airport on April 23, 2021 in London, England. From 4am this morning, passengers landing in the UK from India are now required to stay in isolation at government-approved hotels for ten days, in a bid to prevent the spread of a new strain of the COVID-19 virus. Indian health services are currently struggling to fight soaring infection rates and a rapidly-rising death toll. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

To prevent the spread of Covid-19 and potentially harmful variants into the UK, people who have travelled from or passed through a red list country must self-isolate in government-approved quarantine hotel.

Travellers must complete 10 days of quarantine which begins at 0.01am on the first day after arrival.

A Covid test must be taken on day two and day eight. Guests are permitted to leave the hotel after completing 10 full days provided they test negative for the virus.

Transport is provided from the airport to the hotel and passengers who have parked at the airport will need to extend their parking period.

Full board is provided as part of the quarantine package including three daily meals, fresh fruit, tea, coffee, soft drinks and water.

Travellers must pay £1,750 for their stay, with an additional rate of £650 for children over 12 and £325 for children between five and 12 years old.

Children under five have no additional cost. This includes the cost of transport and testing.

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Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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