Easing of travel rules ‘welcome first step on path out of pandemic’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Relaxation of rules: international travel will be permitted to 12 countries on the Government's green list (image: Getty/Maridav)
Relaxation of rules: international travel will be permitted to 12 countries on the Government's green list (image: Getty/Maridav)

Related tags: Legislation, ukhospitality, Kate nicholls, Travel

The Government’s announcement relaxing the rules around international travel has been welcomed by one trade body.

On Friday (7 May), transport secretary Grant Shapps revealed international travel will be permitted next week at a Downing Street press conference.

The ‘Stay in the UK’ regulation will lift, meaning leisure travel (holidays) from England will no longer be illegal.

A traffic light system will be implemented with countries being placed on the red, amber or green list, dependent on the epidemiological situation across the globe.

Entering England rules

Where are the green list countries?



Falkland Islands

Faroe Islands



Israel and Jerusalem

New Zealand

Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira)


South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

From 4am on Monday 17 May, 12 countries will be on the Government’s ‘green list’ meaning there will be no need for passengers from these areas to quarantine on arrival.

For those entering the country from the green list nations, they must complete a passenger locator form, take a Covid-19 test before they arrive as well as on or before the second day after they arrive. However, they will not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.

Passengers entering England without proof of a negative Covid-19 test could be fined £500 upon arrival at the border.

The Government has stated people should not be travelling to amber and red countries for leisure with 10-day hotel quarantine requirements in place for those coming from red countries and home quarantine for amber countries.

Pragmatic approach

On the green list announcement, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “This cautious and limited return of international travel is a welcome first step on the path out of the pandemic and has clearly been made in receipt of scientific data, ensuring public health considerations remain the key priority.

“A pragmatic approach to ensuring the wider unlocking of hospitality and tourism is key but will hopefully ensure a wider reopening of the sector is not jeopardised over the summer.

“Levels of travel will clearly be limited compared to pre-Covid times though and so it’s imperative the Government provides a targeted support for those businesses with a reliance on tourism.

“The key positives is the UK is in a position to open up tourism, thanks to the vaccine roll out and testing capacities and we look forward – in the hope Covid cases can remain low – to the green list growing and the hospitality and tourism sectors being empowered to drive national economic recovery further.”

Related topics: Legislation

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