Where can you travel since May 17? In this post, I will share with you the UK’s Green List countries, the requirements to enter these countries (funny enough, most of them don’t allow any foreign travel yet) and some of the best things to do in some of these places (only the ones we’ve visited before).
After over five months of being in either partial or full lockdown, it’s time to travel again. This time, UK Government has introduced green, amber and red list countries for the reopening of travel on May 17 2021. This list will be reviewed regularly, and it also means that countries can enter and exit a list ANY time (which, of course, adds more uncertainty to those who decide to travel to these destinations).
Here’s what you can find in this post:
Let’s get started!
Can you REALLY travel again since May 17? What is the catch?
Well, first of all, a lot of people are wondering whether you can REALLY travel again since May 17. Well, technically, yes. The UK Government is removing the ban on travel, which means that you can now travel for leisure if you follow all the rules that you can find here. The rules are different for each list (red, green or amber), so make sure to check them if you’re planning to travel.
Travelling to the red list countries
If you’re travelling to one of the countries from the red list, you will need to quarantine in a hotel upon arrival. That means spending ten nights at a hotel, and yes, you need to pay for that hotel. Moreover, if you’re not a British Citizen or don’t have residents rights in the UK, you WON’T be able to enter the UK at all. There are quite a few unexpected countries in this list, such as The Maldives, the UAE or Turkey (which some have expected to find in the green list).
Travelling to the amber list countries
If you’re travelling to a country from the amber list (and you can’t travel there for leisure purposes), you need to take a covid test before travelling, on the 2nd day of your arrival and the 8th day of your arrival. You also need to quarantine for eight days. You can also end your quarantine early with the test to release scheme.
UK’s green list countries & travel rules (green corridor)
Everybody was pretty euphoric when UK’s green list countries were announced. However, there are still some rules you need to follow when arriving from countries from the green corridor (list). For example, you need to take on arrival (on or before day 2). You also need a negative test result to enter the UK. However, luckily, you don’t need to quarantine at all!
However, the tricky part is the entry rules of these countries. While some only permit vaccinated travellers to enter (e.g. Portugal), some other ones only let their residents or citizens in (no tourists). These rules, however, are changing every day (so it’s definitely worth checking whether the country you’d like to visit allows tourists in or not.
As of 16/05, these countries are on the UK’s green list (with travel being allowed only since 17/05):
Iceland – read my post about a weekend in Iceland
Portugal – read my guide to a weekend in Porto and a 14-day laid-back itinerary for Portugal.
Singapore – read my post about visiting Singapore.
And some super remote territories like the Falkland Islands, Tristan da Cunha, South Sandwich Islands, St. Helena etc. (this must have been a joke, as getting to Falkland islands would involve as RAF flight and getting to Tristan da Cunha is impossible without going through South Africa, which is a red territory and takes another six days sailing by a special barge).
The only country people can REALISTICALLY visit Portugal; however, Portugal only allows vaccinated people to enter the country – so if you’re below 42, then, most probably, you haven’t been vaccinated yet. In this case, you can’t really travel for leisure purposes anywhere.
I hope this changes soon, as it’s incredibly frustrating to be “allowed to travel” but not being able to go anywhere.
For now, it’s holidays in the UK; however, fingers crossed that the travel will reopen soon!
In the meantime, feel free to check some of my posts about travelling around the UK:
The optimal itinerary for Scotland – 7 days in Scotland (road trip)
3-day trip to Bath and Cotswolds
Three days in Wales: Cardiff and South Wales
Four days in Yorkshire: Yorkshire coast, Leeds and North York Moors
Long weekend in Cornwall: a road trip around the South of England
Sussex Day trip from London
Weekend in Norfolk: Norfolk Coast and Norwich