As the country looks towards lifting restrictions on July 19th, the time of writing this blog is seeing ramped up debates over the pros and cons of scrapping social distancing and mask-wearing as well as an increased focus on the vaccination uptick. One area that hopes for a calm, collected and virus-free return to normality is the tourist industry. Whilst hotels such as the Montcalm Hotel Finsbury Square London have been opening their doors to guests since May 17th, they’ll now be able to increase their capacity, much like live events and cinemas. This will emerge in tandem with the beginning of the school holidays and significantly, a reworking of the air travel red, amber and green lists.
This blog will outline the list of countries that we are permitted to travel to, and how the changes in regulations will affect where we can and can’t travel to. Whether planning a London city break UK from abroad or travelling from the UK capital to somewhere a little sunnier, this blog will outline how your travel may be affected over the next few months.
What Decides Which Country Is On Which List?
Green, amber and red list countries are decided by government ministers and health experts at the Joint Biosecurity Centre, who look at the infection rates per 100,000 for that week from every country in the world. The shared data of infections per 100,000 must show less than 20 infected people per sample if they want to be placed on the green list.
If travelling back from a country on the green list, returning travellers or holidaymakers in the UK will not have to quarantine upon their arrival. However, to be permitted entry, you must agree to take a COVID 19 test before your departure and have proof on arrival for a negative result, have a second test two days into your arrival in the UK and also complete the passenger locator form in case of an emergency. The only reason that you’ll have to quarantine on your return to the UK is if your second-day test comes back positive or the NHS Track and Trace app notify that you have travelled with someone who has tested positive.
At the time of writing this, July 19ths restriction lifting is yet to come into effect. When it does though, those who are fully vaccinated and returning from domestic travel to the UK will not have to quarantine. Those who have not been fully vaccinated will have to quarantine for 10 days, take a COVID test on the 2nd and 8th day of their trip, and show proof of a negative result.
After July 19th, many of the rules surrounding red list countries will still be enforced. Red list countries have rising COVID rates and you may only travel to them for urgent needs or for confirmed work for the government. Red list country rules state that you must take a COVID test before your departure to the UK and show proof of a negative result, complete the passenger locator form and self-isolate in government-sanctioned quarantine hotels.
These hotels include rates of £1750 for adults, an additional adult for £650 and £325 for children between five and eleven years of age - hardly the London getaway deal many would want! This high price for self-isolation is just one of the deterrents from visiting red list countries where it may be very easy to pick up and spread the virus.