Health Travel Magazine - Digest 2024

Traffic Light Travel for UK Holidaymakers

The highly anticipated Traffic Light system was announced on Friday 7 May by the UK Government, indicating where is safe to travel to this summer and what this will mean for your next holiday.

From 17 May, the ban on international travel for recreation is lifted in the UK and destinations will be split into three classifications: green (lowest risk), amber and red (highest risk).

The great news is travel is back on the agenda for all of us, but precautions are needed to keep you and everyone else safe. So what does that mean for your next trip away?

Green, Amber, Red: How is each country determined?

Balancing a combination of factors, each country’s classification is determined by rate of coronavirus infections, the rate of vaccinations within the destination and the likelihood of virus variants of greater concern.

Yes, this will continue to change over the upcoming months, but there will be regular updates on whether any country is likely to change from one category to another. Make sure to book flexible flights and with responsible travel agents who can guarantee flexibility (like us!).

Overview of the Traffic Light system

Regardless of which country you fly to, you must complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and have a pre-departure test prior to your journey. You will also need to have a PCR test at least 2 days prior to returning to the UK.

For every country on the Green list that is thankfully as much as you need to do – pretty relaxed, huh?

For destinations in the Amber list, 10 days self-isolation is required on arrival. Thankfully, this can be done in the comfort of your private accommodation, and the time in isolation can be reduced if you complete another test five days after arrival – which means more time for exploring. Once you return to the UK you will need to take a final PCR test eight days later – simple enough.

And finally, the Red list. 10 days of hotel quarantine is mandatory when arriving in the destination. Same as the Amber countries, you will also need to take another PCR test eight days after returning home. Whilst some quarantine hotels are more comfortable than others, we recommend that you steer away from these destinations until there is less risk.

Take a breath – you’re in safe hands. The team at Health Travel are here to support you throughout your holiday from the moment you enquire and long after you return. Our travel experts can confidently guide you on destinations, hotels and provide regular prompts to ensure that each finer detail is covered timely and smoothly.

For further clarification, here is the full breakdown of what each ‘Traffic Light’ means:

Green Country Checklist

  • Passenger Locator Form (PLF)
  • Pre-departure test
  • PCR test – at least 2 days before returning to the UK

What you won’t need to do:

  • No hotel quarantine
  • No self-isolation
  • PCR testing after returning to the UK

Amber Country Checklist

  • Passenger Locator Form (PLF)
  • Pre-departure test
  • 10 days of self-isolation on arrival (in private accommodation)
  • Optional Covid-test on day 5, allowing end of self-isolation
  • PCR test – at least 2 days before returning to the UK
  • Further PCR testing 8 days after return to the UK

What you won’t need to do:

  • There’s no hotel quarantine (hurray!)

Red Country Checklist

  • Passenger Locator Form (PLF)
  • Pre-departure test
  • 10 days of hotel quarantine
  • PCR test – at least 2 days before returning to the UK
  • Further PCR testing 8 days after return to the UK

Tips to track travel updates

You can use this handy Covid tracking tool to keep up to date with any changes within countries.

IATA also regularly publish updates, helping you to travel with confidence.

Also remember to check the rules in the country you wish to visit as well as the UK rules. They might slightly differ. But don’t worry, we are here to help you every step of the way.

Now we have covered those formalities, let’s crack on with the fun question…

Where can I travel now?

So far the list has been limited, featuring only 12 countries, including Portugal and Israel, however in three weeks time this will be reviewed and we are likely to be see a wider selection of holiday destinations for this year.

Here’s to the many adventures to come.