The UK plans to reopen its borders for international travelers using a traffic light system until the summer, lifting the ban on travel abroad that has been in place since the country entered its third blockade in January.
International travel restrictions are scheduled to end on May 17, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the date is not final.
Since travel abroad is permitted, the British authorities have confirmed that the government will divide countries into three categories of travel, green, amber or red, depending on their risk levels COVID-19. Countries will be assigned to a category based on the following criteria:
- The percentage of the population that was vaccinated
- The rate of new infections
- The prevalence of worrying COVID-19 variants
- The availability of reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing in the country
Countries with high numbers of vaccinations, low rates of infection and low incidents of worrying variants will be placed on the “green list”. Countries with a low number of vaccinations, high rates of infection and high incidents of worrying variants, such as the Brazilian and South African strains, will be placed on the “red list”.
The rules for travelers coming from each destination category are as follows:
Travelers do not need to be quarantined, but must do a COVID-19 test before departure and a PCR test on the second day of their arrival in the UK
Travelers must be quarantined for 10 days, unless they receive a negative PCR test result obtained at least five days after their arrival in the UK. They must also do a COVID-19 test before departure and PCR tests on the second and eighth day after their arrival.
Travelers must be quarantined for 10 days at a government-approved hotel. They must also do a test before departure and PCR tests on the second and eighth day after their arrival in the UK
Travelers entering the UK must use government-approved PCR tests, which can cost up to £ 160, approximately $ 222 USD. However, authorities are working on ways to reduce the price of exams to make travel more accessible.
Randox, the UK’s largest provider of PCR testing, recently announced that it will start offering tests for £ 60, about $ 83.
Although no official list of “green” destinations has been released, experts predict that Ireland, Israel, Iceland, Gibraltar, Malta, Portugal, Jamaica, Barbados, Morocco and Grenada could all go through the cut.