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Traffic Light System for Return to International Travel

13 May 2021

From 17 May 2021, a cautious approach for resuming international travel has been announced for people living in Scotland and England, but strict border control measures will remain in place.

  • see the Scottish Government’s announcement
  • see the UK government’s announcement
  • Wales and Northern Ireland governments are yet to release information on resuming international travel.

As part of the strict border measures, a traffic light system has been set up by the UK Government’s Global Travel Taskforce for travellers arriving into the UK.

The traffic light system:

  • does not indicate which countries are currently allowing UK travellers to enter their country
  • categorises countries into a red, amber or green list based on risk of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • indicates what a traveller must do regarding quarantine and testing upon their return to the UK

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure they are permitted to enter the country they are travelling to.

Before booking any international travel

Prior to booking any international travel, travellers must first check if the country they are travelling to is currently accepting UK travellers.

  • Each FCDO foreign travel advice page provides up to date information on entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) under the 'Entry Requirements' section.
  • Travellers should be aware that some countries or territories may require proof of COVID-19 vaccination status for entry.

For planned travel to red, amber and green countries, travellers should check the rules on the UK government website prior to booking travel; and also ensure they are able to comply with the rules for re-entering the UK appropriate to the UK nation they will be arriving in and reside in (if different).

All travellers should review the fitfortravel COVID-19 Health Considerations for Travel advice page for further information on:

  • FCDO Travel Advisory Notices
  • The risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) at their destination
  • Requirements for COVID testing at their destination prior to return
  • Self-isolation rules on return to the UK
  • Travel Insurance
  • Medical Facilities at their destination

Demonstrating COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad

For those living in England, the UK government has provided guidance for demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status.

For those living in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, information on how you can demonstrate your COVID-19 vaccination status is yet to be announced.

TRAVAX will be updated as soon as further guidance is issued by the UK 4 nation governments.