Turkey stays red as UK adds seven destinations to Covid travel green list

Transport Secretary Grants Shapps says he is 'cautiously easing' international travel

The UK Government has updated its traffic light system for international travel, adding six countries and one island chain to the green list and moving two more countries to the red list.

No countries were moved off the red list as Transport Secretary Grants Shapps said he was “cautiously easing” international travel.

The UK Government moves nations around the list, with red, amber, green categories, based on the state of Covid-19 outbreaks in each country. This is gauged by vaccination rates, infection numbers and other indicators.

The countries moved on to the green list are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Lithuania, Lichtenstein and the Azores.

Thailand and Montenegro were moved to the red list, beginning at 4am on Monday August 30, reflecting “increased case rates in these countries”, the government said.

In the run up to Thursday’s announcement, six countries – Turkey, Oman, Egypt, Pakistan, the Maldives, and Dominican Republic – appeared to be in line for a possible move off the red list, which brings with it strict restrictions for returning travellers. None of them were successful.

The red list means visitors returning to the UK have to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days at a cost of £2,285 ($3,126) per person.

Passengers arriving from amber list countries only need to isolate for 10 days on arrival in the UK and they can be released after day five with a negative test result.

Travellers coming from countries with amber status who have been fully vaccinated with inoculations approved and administered in the UK, EU and US do not have to self-isolate, but must provide a negative Covid-19 test within two days of arrival.

It is the first change in three weeks when the UAE was moved to the amber list.

The UK Government’s move applies to travellers returning to England, but the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland have announced identical measures. Wales was expected to follow suit.

Changes to the traffic light system are made after assessments that cover transmission risk and variants of concern, the Department of Transport said.

Updated: August 26th 2021, 6:32 PM