Travel Advisory: International travel - the new 'normal'?

Updated: Jun 8

The UK government has announced a traffic light system that comes fully into force on 17 May 2021 and defines the UK's perception of Covid-19 risk in destination countries. You should always check the UKFCDO website for the current rules and regulations but a summary is shown below. Some people are exempt from some or all of the requirements:

  • Because of the job they do. Jobs that qualify for travel exemptions can be found here; and / or,

  • For medical or compassionate reasons. Exemptions from managed quarantine for medical and compassionate reasons can be found here.


Green List Countries and Territories

New rules for green list of countries will come into force 17 May 2021.


Before you travel to England you must:

On arrival in England you must:

  • Take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive.

  • You do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.

  • You must self-isolate if NHS Test & Trace informs you that you travelled to England with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the Red List in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the red list rules.


If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the Amber List in the 10 days before you arrive in England, and have not visited a country on the red list, you must follow the amber list rules.


Amber List Countries and Territories

The majority of countries currently fall into the Amber category. You should not travel to amber list countries or territories for leisure purposes.


Before you travel to England you must:

On arrival in England you must:

  • Quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days; and,

  • Take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8

You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the ‘Test to Release’ scheme.


Red List Countries and Territories

You should not travel to red list countries or territories for leisure purposes. If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK.


Before travel to England you must:

On arrival in England you must:

  • Quarantine in a managed hotel, including 2 COVID-19 tests.

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the red list rules.


Country Status


Country status can be found on the UK FCDO website. The status of countries will be reviewed by the UK Government every three weeks but it is reasonable to assume they will be continually monitored and that changes to a country's status may still be made at short notice. Before booking, travellers should consider the full implications of a change in status of their destinations and / or countries they are travelling through.


It is important to remember that the above rules govern travel to and from England. Other countries will also have their own rules and requirements that must also be complied with. Check and comply with all travel related Covid-19 protective measures and make contingency plans. Be prepared in case of sudden changes.


Overlanding


You must comply with the rules of the countries and territories you drive through. When arriving in England for example, and you have driven through an Amber List country, then you must follow the amber list rules when you arrive in England. This applies whether you stop in the country or territory or not. You need to record the countries and territories you drive through on your passenger locator form.


Africa


It is very probable that Africa will remain on the Red or Amber List for some time to come. Non essential travel is not likely to be recommended to the continent during 2021 or even possibly 2022. For those that do need to travel on business or for compassionate reasons:

  • Check the borders are open and comply with the current entry requirements;

  • Be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 including the booster;

  • Make contingency plans;

  • Carry PPE and implement Covid self protective measures ("Hands / Face / Space");

  • Check your insurance policy includes international air medical evacuation specifically in case of a Covid-19 diagnosis;

  • Carry a comprehensive first aid kit and a sterile ('sharps') kit (see Tip Toe Travel Advisory: New Covid-19 requirements in Tanzania). It would be prudent for first aid kits to include Covid antibody test kits;

  • Monitor the situation regarding Covid-19 closely before, during and after your trip; and,

  • Be prepared to have to pay for a 14 day quarantine on your return.


Useful Links:

UK FCDO Red, amber and green list rules for entering England

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