The United Kingdom has put in place a traffic light system for travel as part of the country’s measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. The UK is one of the countries that were hit the hardest by the coronavirus outbreak. Travel to the country was restricted and countries zoned into Red, Amber, and Green.
While persons traveling from Green and Amber list countries are allowed to enter the UK under certain conditions, persons who have been to Red list countries in the past 10 days before their arrival are not allowed to enter the UK unless they are British or Irish national, or have legal residency in the UK.
However, one can still travel to the UK ‘from’ a red list country if they have a pressing need to be in the country. The keyword here is PRESSING NEED. It is not advisable to travel during a pandemic unless it’s really essential. Since traveling from a red list country puts others at risk, one is encouraged to travel only if there is a pressing need to.
Follow these steps to travel to the UK from a red list country.
Get fully vaccinated
If you are from a red list country, first make sure you are fully vaccinated. This may protect you and others from contracting COVID-19 while traveling to the UK. Fully vaccinated means having a final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 whole days before you arrive in England. The day you have your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days. If you have plans of traveling to the UK, make sure the vaccine you take is one of those recognized by the UK. Vaccines approved in the UK are:
- Moderna vaccine
- Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
- Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
- Janssen vaccine
Apart from the above, it’s also accepted if you were fully vaccinated in an EU country, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the Vatican City. Take note that not all European countries are EU countries.
Any other vaccine authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Swissmedic for Switzerland, and the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are also recognized.
Travel to a Green list country
After you have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognized by the UK, travel to a Green list country that welcomes travelers from your country. Most countries on the green list welcome fully vaccinated persons. If visa restrictions make it difficult to easily travel to a green list country, you may also consider an amber list country with favorable visa requirements or with visa-free access for holders of your country’s passport. You will not be required to quarantine in the UK if you are fully vaccinated and arriving from an amber list country.
Stay in the Green or Amber list country for at least 10 days, and then proceed to the UK. Your 10-day stay in a green or amber list country means you are no longer arriving in the UK from a red list country and as such red list rules do not apply. You can now follow Green List or Amber List rules depending on the country you spent the 10 days in.