After the brief and let’s admit it pathetic update from Grant Shapps, the UK’s Secretary of State for Transport at 5pm on the 7th May 2021, we wanted to clarify what the traffic light system means if you are looking to travel this summer. You can find the full list of red, amber and green countries and rules for entering England via this link.
Nicola Sturgeon confirmed on the 11th May 2021 that Scotland will follow the traffic light system as adopted by England from the 17th May 2021. The advice for international arrivals in Scotland can be found here.
Currently Wales is at level 3, we are waiting for an update for international travel, their advice can be found here.
Covid testing required for return to England,UK
Firstly the UK government have made no exception for any British citizens who are fully vaccinated. Covid tests are required from all destinations arriving into the UK regardless of traffic light status. There is an exception for children aged under 11 years old for the pre departure test, however only children aged 4 years old and under are exempt from the PCR tests taken at home.
Green status = 2 tests
Pre departure test required in resort, within 72 hours of travel to England. Tests must meet performance standards of ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml. This test can include PCR, LAMP or antigen. The detailed and personal test result must be in English, French or Spanish. The second test is on or before day 2 after arrival and must be a PCR test from a government approved supplier.
Amber status = 3 tests & self isolation
There is a 10 day quarantine at home (or the place where you are staying) for travellers from a country designated as amber status. In addition to the green status, there is a third test required on or after day 8 after arrival, again from a government approved supplier. Travellers can also test to release with a private test on day 5.
The UK government have increased their checks to ensure arrivals from amber countries are actually at their place of residence for quarantine. On top of the daily phone calls, there is now a team of private contractors employed to visit addresses to check in person. Penalties for not complying can carry a fine up to £10,000. The team have a capacity to visit up to 10,000 home visits per day.
Red status = 3 tests & managed hotel quarantine
Arrivals from these high risk counties have to stay in a quarantine hotel for 10 days.
For full instructions and guidance, please read this official advice: Covid testing for returning to England
You may be fined £500 if you arrive in England without a valid test result.
Covid-19 vaccination status
According to this update dated 07/05/21 UK citizens from England will have a paper or digital format of their Covid-19 vaccination status available from the 17th May 2021 for the reason of travelling abroad.
You can download the NHS App here.
For travellers without smartphones you can call the NHS helpline on 119 to request a paper certificate, at least 5 days following your second jab.
Spain entry requirements
The official Canary Islands tourist information about Covid requirements for international visitors can be found here.
The Spanish tourist board have an interactive map where you can enter your country of origin to check the entry requirements for Spain here.