Travel to amber destinations without the need to quarantine.

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It’s nearly 16 months since Boris Johnson’s initial address to the nation marking the dawn of the first lockdown. As we navigated the summer of 2020, at the time many of us would not have believed that ‘Freedom Day’ was still a year away. As we edge closer to July 19th many of us, understandably, are hesitant to arrange street parties and engage in random acts of tactility due to the serge of the Delta Variant.

The impact the new variant is having on the UK differs from previous waves, which many attribute to the success of the vaccine roll out.

“So far, more than 45.4 million people have had a first vaccine dose – about 86% of the adult population – and almost 34 million have had a second.”



The number of first doses performed daily has dropped significantly, however still more than 120,000 adults per day are rolling up their sleeves to receive their first jab. A further 160,000 adults are receiving their second dose each day.

“The UK has four vaccines approved for use: Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen; three of which require two doses for maximum protection.

Progress made in the UK so far means the country continues to be among those with the highest vaccination rates globally.”



So far, more than 45.4 million people have had a first vaccine dose – about 86% of the adult population – and almost 34 million have had a second.


So why does this matter?

Restrictions are being lifted, that we are certain of, however there is still a question mark around travel.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Monday, Johnson confirmed plans to ditch quarantine rules for those returning from amber destinations. This is good news for anyone planning a holiday later this year as most mainstream destinations are currently on the amber list.

“We will maintain our tough border controls including the red list, and recognising the protection afforded by two doses of vaccine, we will work with the travel industry towards removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals to isolate on return from an amber country,” Johnson said.

The new rules mean you can travel freely to an amber destination without the need to quarantine on your return, essentially treating amber destinations as if they were green.

“Under these new proposals, anyone who has received their second jab 14 days before entering the UK from an amber list country would be able to skip quarantine requirements.”



When will the new rules come into play?

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps made his long-awaited announcement regarding the changes on Thursday evening. The new guidance has come sooner than many may have expected with travellers not needing to isolate, if fully vaccinated in the UK, from July 19th, 2021.



Which countries are on the amber list?

Click the (+ -) symbol below to see the full list of red, amber, and green destinations.


Destinations on the Green list

All countries, except for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia are on the green list. Nigeria is currently on the green list, but will move to the red list from 4am on 6 December.

Destinations on the Amber list

There are currently no countries on the Amber list.

Destinations on the Red list
Nigeria Added to red list 4am Monday 6 December. If you arrive in England from this date, you must follow red list rules.
South Africa



What are the new rules with regard to testing?

The date of your second vaccination is key. You must have your second jab at least 14 days prior to departure. Make sure you have this booked with plenty of time to spare as vaccination centres are expected to become busier since Grant Shapps’ announcement.

Not much has changed with regard to testing, you will still need to pay for a PCR test 3 days prior to departure from your holiday destination and another 2 days after arriving home.



Are all Amber destinations accepting British tourists?

The short answer is no. We advise you check with your destination’s governmental website or the UK Gov site prior to travel. Each country or territory will have different rules on international holiday makers.

For example:

  • Germany is lifting a Covid-related travel ban on people from the UK
  • Mainland Portugal requires proof of being fully vaccinated to avoid two-weeks’ quarantine.
  • Only fully vaccinated UK adults can enter Malta – and it will not recognise a UK vaccine certificate with an Indian batch number (4120Z002 and 4120Z003).
  • Only fully vaccinated people can enter France.
  • Travelling to Belgium from the UK is currently banned.
  • Hong Kong has banned all UK flights.







How will the new rules affect my travel insurance policy?

We have created a policy add on allowing you to travel to European destinations with enhanced cover. If you have purchased the COVID-19 Enhanced Add On, you will remain covered to travel if the FCDO advise against “all but essential” travel to your destination. This means you can travel with extra piece of mind before July 19th.

The rate of infection and volume of testing differs from country to country. Popular destinations such as Italy and Germany have far lower rates of infection per 100,000 people compared to the UK. However, the need to protect yourself against the possibility of infection, both before and during your trip, and selecting appropriate cover is still essential. Until recently, if you were unable to travel due to contracting COVID-19, you would not be covered, however our enhanced Add On gives you greater levels of medical and cancellation cover should you need it.


For more information on our COVID-19 Enhanced Add On


COVID-19 Enhanced Add On   COVID-19 FAQ


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