Foreign holidays are governed by a traffic light system that determines the rules for arrivals to England. The red list of destinations have the toughest travel restrictions of all.
Two more countries were added to the red list in the latest traffic update. From 4am on August 30, arrivals from Thailand and Montenegro will have to enter hotel quarantine.
The traffic light lists of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can potentially be different to England’s, so check the advice on the relevant government websites.
Britons returning to England from red-listed destinations will continue to face a 10-day stay in a quarantine hotel at an increased cost of up to £2,285 (previously £1,750), including Covid tests on day two and eight of their quarantine. The 30 per cent price hike is “in order to ensure taxpayers are not subsidising the costs of staying in these facilities,” read a Government statement.
Any non-Britons who have been in a red list country within the past 10 days will simply be denied entry to the country.
The rating of each country is decided based on the proportion of its population that has been vaccinated, its infection rates, the prevalence of variants of concern and its capacity to sequence their genomes.
All travellers must fill out a passenger locator form and secure proof of a negative Covid-19 test result before departure to England. The test must be taken within three days of departure.
Those travelling from green destinations must then pay for a PCR test on or before their second day back in England. Those returning from an amber country have to quarantine at home for up to 10 days. They must take two PCR tests when back, on days two and eight. They can pay for an additional test on day five to potentially reduce their time in self-isolation under the Test to Release scheme. Since July 19 fully vaccinated Britons (and their children) have been able to avoid quarantine on their return from amber-list destinations but are still be subject to testing.
Those returning from the red list countries must still pay up to £2,285 to spend that time in a quarantine hotel. However, recent reports suggest those in financial hardship may be able to avoid the large fee. A Government statement confirmed: “Alternative payment arrangements remain available to those who genuinely cannot afford to pay.”
Since February 15, arrivals who try to cover up their arrival from a red list country also face jail sentences of up to 10 years, whilst anyone who tries to avoid mandatory hotel quarantine will face fines of up to £10,000.
A fine also enforces the testing system. Travellers arriving from any country could be fined £500 if they do not have a valid test result.