UK’s ‘Traffic Light System’ For Travel – FAQs

On 17th May, the UK government introduced a new 'traffic light system' to reopen overseas travel.

Our blog answers the frequently asked questions surrounding the traffic light system and aims to simplify the rules and regulations of travel. The system is under constant review and is subject to change. We will keep you up to date on the latest information.


How will the ‘traffic light system’ work?

The UK has introduced a ‘green’ and ‘amber’ level to the government’s previous ‘red’ list of destinations which makes up the traffic light system. Each country will be categorised depending on several factors including their vaccination programme, the rate of infection, the prevalence of variants of concern and the access to reliable scientific data.

The previous ban on non-essential travel was lifted on 17th May.


What are the current testing and quarantine requirements for each category?

Each traffic light category will come with its own testing and quarantine requirements replacing the previous rules and restrictions.

The below chart outlines the current requirements for green, amber and red list countries:

Measure Green Country Amber Country Red Country
Passenger Locator Form Yes Yes Yes
Pre-departure Test
(in destination)
Yes Yes Yes
Managed Quarantine at Hotel No No 10 days
Self-Isolation No 10 days N/A
Test to Release No On day 5 No
PCR Testing
(upon arrival in the UK)
On or before day 2 On or before day 2 On or before 2
Further PCR Testing
(upon arrival in the UK)
No Day 8 Day 8


Which countries are on the UK’s green, amber and red list?

Green List Countries

At present, these are the countries on the UK's 'green list':

- Anguilla 
- Antigua & Barbuda 
- Australia
- Austria 
- the Azores (as of Monday 30th August)
- Barbados
- Bermuda 
- Brunei
- Bulgaria 
- Canada (as of Monday 30th August)
- Cayman Islands 
- Croatia (green watchlist)
- Denmark (as of Monday 30th August)
- Dominica 
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Finland (as of Monday 30th August)
- Germany 
- Gibraltar
- Grenada 
- Hong Kong 
- Iceland
- Israel
- Latvia
- Liechtenstein (as of Monday 30th August)
- Lithuania (as of Monday 30th August)
- Madeira
- Malta 
- New Zealand
- Norway 
- Romania 
- Singapore
- Slovakia 
- Slovenia 
- Switzerland (as of Monday 30th August)
- Taiwan (green watchist) 
- Turks & Caicos Islands 

You can also check the green list countries here. The government have also stated that they will provide advance warning to travellers if it is likely that a country will move from the green list to the amber list.

Amber List Countries

A list of the most up to date amber countries can be found here

Red List Countries

A list of the most up to date red countries can be found here.


We are here to help

Contact us online if you have any questions or queries surrounding the reopening of international travel, our dedicated team are on hand to help guide you through the varying travel rules and regulations. If you are looking to plan an event, call Jacqui on 01892 571181.

Contact Us

Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Events

With over 30 years of specialist experience in group travel, we love to share insight and experience with our clients. Inspiring incentive travel, streamlined conferences and integrated group travel solutions - our team is with you every step of the way.

Submit your details below and let us make a difference.