What is the new traffic light system for travel?

International leisure travel from England will no longer be illegal from 17th May 2021, but strict border control measures will remain in place. The rules for people arriving in to England from abroad are changing - please make sure you are fully aware of the new changes before travelling.

The UK government have announced that they will be using a traffic light system for travel from 17th May 2021. This traffic light system will put countries onto red, amber, and green lists depending on a number of COVID-19 related factors:

  • How much of the country’s population has been vaccinated
  • The country’s rate of infection
  • Whether the country has any ‘variants of concern’
  • If the country has access to reliable data allowing them to identify new variants

What you will need to do depends on where you will have been in the 10 days prior to your arrival. If you have been in a country or territory on the:

In addition to the above, regardless of which list your country appears on, you must still continue to fill out a passenger locator form and take a pre-departure Covid-19 test (taken within 72 hours of departure) prior to your arrival into the UK - unless exempt.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated. Find out what list the country you’re travelling from is on and what you need to do.

Please note: NHS Tests will not be accepted for travel.

For more detailed information, including which countries are rated as red, amber or green for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the rules you must follow to enter England, visit the site here.

You can also find information relating to testing and travel to France, Ireland and the Netherlands on our Travel Light System For Travel page and our Coronavirus hub pages.

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