A Guide to UK Green Light Countries

England and Scotland have both confirmed overseas travel will begin on 17th May. They have also revealed 12 countries are on the green list. However, Wales does not allow leisure travel. It only allows travel for essential purposes.

Some of the best vacation destinations on the green list are Iceland, Israel, Gibraltar, and Portugal. However, France, Greece, and Spain are some of the destinations that are still on the red list.


What does the green rating mean? It means you will not need to quarantine when you come back to the United Kingdom. If you want to plan a trip this summer, you will still need to consider the entry requirements of the destination before you book your trip.

Most of the destinations and countries on the green list allow travelers from the United Kingdom. However, Brits will enter Portugal from 17th May.

Once you decide to travel for leisure to one of the green list countries, you will have to take a covid-19 test before departing and take a PCR test one day or after two days of your return. Remember, taking these tests increases the overall cost of your trip.

Once you arrive from one of the destinations on the amber list, you will have to quarantine in your home for 10 days and take the tests before and after your trip. It is better to avoid traveling to these destinations for leisure purposes.

Once you arrive from one of the countries on the red list, you will need to quarantine for 10 days in a government managed hotel. It costs a single person £1,750 to quarantine in this hotel.

Turkey and Maldives are some of the destinations on the red list. Avoid traveling to destinations on the red list for leisure purposes.

England and Scotland have the same list of destinations on the green list. However, the two governments will review these destinations regularly. It is important to choose a trustworthy and reliable holiday company before you book your holiday package. If you opt to hire a car make sure you have annual car hire excess insurance.

How Does the Government Put Countries on the Amber, Green, or Red Lists?

Conwy, North Wales, UK

The government uses covid-19 health metrics to assign each destination on the list. The covid-19 metrics include; the prevalence of variants, vaccination numbers, and infection rates.

The difference in traffic light colors indicates the risks in every country and the tests you must take and quarantine periods.

How Frequent Will the Traffic Light Colors of Each Country Change?

Like travel corridors of last year, the government will change the colors in the traffic light system regularly. However, the changes in travel corridors forced so many people to change their travel plans and cut their holidays short to travel home before the changes took place.

Therefore, the government does not plan to make the changes every week. It plans to move the destinations between the amber, green, and red lists every three weeks. The government does this to avoid disrupting the travel plans of most people.

The government has introduced a ‘green watchlist” to help people know the destinations that the government is planning to move from green to amber.


The government has warned it will act immediately if the risk ratings of any country change. Therefore, your holiday can still be disrupted this year. If the government adds the country, which you have visited, to the red list, you will need to travel home immediately before the new changes take place. However, you are more likely to pay more for airfares. And you will still pay to quarantine in a hotel once you return to the UK.

Once you decide to travel for leisure, you must consider the cost of tests since you are required to take the tests before you you travel to and from the destinations on the green list. Even though the costs of the tests are high, the costs are coming down. The test on one of the government approved providers costs £58 and another provider wants to bring down the tests to £45. Tui charges its customers £60 for the PCR test. Join Which to get unbiased advice and news on the covid tests.

Which Destinations are on the Green List?

The destinations on the green lists include; New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Singapore, Brunei, Gibraltar, Israel, Portugal, Falkland Islands, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Sandwich Islands and Saint Helena, South Georgia, and the Faroe Islands.

You cannot travel to New Zealand and Australia because they are closed to international travel.

Can You Travel to Destinations on the Green List?

Scottish coastline landscape in Shetland islands. Scotland. UK

Once a country accepts travelers from the UK, you can travel to that country. However, you must take a test before you leave the country and take a PCR test on the day or two days before you return to the United Kingdom. You will spend £200 on these tests. However, the cost of the test depends on the country you took the test in and the UK provider you will use.

You will not have to quarantine once you return from the green list destinations. You will only quarantine if you test positive.

The destination you plan to travel to may require a test, which can add to your cost.

The EU suggests if you are vaccinated, you can provide evidence of vaccination to avoid taking a test. The EU is now working on a digital green certificate.

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said UK travelers will prove their vaccination status using the NHS app. If you do not have a smartphone, you can call the NHS 119 line from 17th May to request the evidence in letter form. The form contains a QR code to make sure it is legitimate. However, you will not get one from GPs.

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