International travel is back on and, understandably, we're all eager to pack our bags and get on the next flight to a holiday destination, following lockdown. Given that the UK government recently released the latest green list countries as part of the traffic light system, summer getaways with no self-isolation are now a possibility. This list, however, can be confusing and is constantly changing, which is why we've broken it down to help make planning your holiday as hassle-free as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.
As cases are low in many countries in Europe like Greece and Italy, hopefully, they'll be moving from the amber list onto the green list soon. Plus, the Department for Transport and the prime minister have said that they plan to allow fully vaccinated travellers with vaccine passports to arrive from amber list countries without having to quarantine, beginning with UK residents. In the upcoming months, the department also plans to remove the guidance that people shouldn't travel to amber list countries.
The recent additions to the longest green list yet, apart from Malta, have been added to the green watchlist too - meaning they're at risk of moving back to amber. So, make sure to bookmark this page, as it's updated daily, and we'll keep you informed with any travel news.
Travelling with contact lenses
If you're a UK traveller, eager to holiday abroad this summer, consider stocking up on eye care essentials and contact lenses in advance to avoid extra stress. We're talking about a travel case to store your lenses on the go, everclear Eye Drops for instant relief during long journeys and Vision Direct Soap Sheets to clean your hands wherever you are. Daily disposable lenses are a lot more travel-friendly than monthlies, as they don't require any solution or maintenance, and can be thrown away and replaced with a new pair in the morning. Picking a brand with UV protection also means that your eyes will be better protected against harmful rays when paired with your sunglasses. Remember to stick to the wearing pattern advised by your optician and to take your lenses out when you're sleeping (even during a short siesta), as well as before swimming. The last thing you want is for sore, irritated or dry eyes to throw a spanner in your trip, so be sure to look after your eyes, and keep them safe and protected.
Try everclear ELITE
Exclusive to Vision Direct, everclear ELITE contact lenses are incredibly comfortable and convenient, with an ultra-hydrating formula perfect for those with dry eyes, locking in moisture throughout your travels. Ideal for a carefree summer holiday with crystal-clear vision, these daily disposables give you complete freedom, as you can just throw them away at the end of the day. Plus, UV blocking offers an extra layer of defence against harmful sun rays whether you’re relaxing on the beach or venturing on a hike.
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Holiday destinations on the green list
Dust off your passport because you can visit these countries without having to quarantine after you get back home to the UK - hooray! Although it's important to note that on arrival in the country you're visiting, you'll still need to show either a negative PCR test, or proof of 2 vaccination doses from the NHS. Plus, you'll need to have a pre-departure test result before leaving to return to the UK, as well as on or before day 2 after you land. You should also read up on the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) when planning your trip and double-check entry requirements, coronavirus travel restrictions, and opt for airlines and accommodation, which offer flexible bookings to be safe.
- Antarctica/British Antarctic Territory*
- Antigua and Barbuda*
- Balearic Islands (Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca)*
- British Indian Ocean Territory*
- British Virgin Islands*
Holiday destinations on the amber list
Holidaymakers heading to amber list countries might not necessarily need to self-isolate when they get there, but they will need to quarantine for 10 days upon returning to the UK. But, you won't need to stay in a government-approved hotel - you can simply self-isolate at your home or wherever you're staying. Before you head out, you'll need to complete a passenger locator form and bring a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before departure to border checks. You'll also need to book and pay for tests to take on days 2 and 8 during your home quarantine period. All in all, this process can work out to be quite pricey, and the government advises UK residents against visiting amber list countries or territories for leisure purposes or non-essential travel at this time.
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia
- The Bahamas
Holiday destinations on the red list
There's no messing around with this full list of countries, their strict travel advice and quarantine requirements. Only citizens and residents from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland will be allowed entry back into the UK from a red list country - if you're from somewhere else, you may be denied. Additionally, citizens and residents travelling from a red list country will need to pay £1,750 to spend 10 days quarantining in a government-approved hotel that must be booked via the government's portal before you complete your passenger locator form and make your entry into the UK. If you haven't sorted this out before arriving, you could face a hefty fine of up to £4,000. Plus, you'll still need to pay for your quarantine package when you do arrive back on UK soil.