The changes were confirmed by the government on Thursday 26 August, with the new rules to take effect in England from 4am on Monday (30 August).
Scotland and Northern Ireland will adopt the same updated rules, while the Welsh government is yet to confirm if it will follow suit.
The changes come after the recent end to quarantine rules for fully-vaccinated UK residents and under 18s when returning from amber list nations.
Here’s what you need to know about green list countries.
How does a country qualify for the green rating?
According to the government "countries where we judge the risk to be lower, based for instance on vaccinations, infection rates, the prevalence of variants of concern, and their genomic sequencing capacity (or access to genomic sequencing)" will be allocated green status.
Speaking to the Royal Society of Medicine on April 1, Professor Chris Whitty explained that “with any border policy is you don’t worry about any country that’s got less [cases of coronavirus per person] than you have, but you do worry about any country that’s got more than you have” indicating that a green status would be allocated to countries with a lower R rating than the UK.
What are the rules for green list countries?
The traffic light system categorises countries into green, amber and red lists, with different quarantine restrictions applying to each.
For green listed countries, arrivals need to take a pre-departure Covid test, as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day two of their return to the UK.
However, travellers will not need to quarantine, or take any additional tests, unless they receive a positive result.
Some green list countries will continue to have restrictions in place for those coming from the UK – including quarantine measures – so Mr Shapps said passengers are encouraged to check all requirements and FCDO travel advice before they book any foreign holidays.
Which countries have been listed as green?
The Azores, Switzerland and Canada will join the green list from 4am on Monday (30 August), alongside Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein and Lithuania, meaning arrivals in England will not have to isolate for 10 days on return, regardless of their vaccine status.
Some countries are still on the green watchlist, meaning they are at risk of being moved back to amber at short notice.
These are all the countries on the green and green watchlist:
- Anguilla - Green watchlist
- Antarctica/British Antarctic Territory - Green watchlist
- Antigua and Barbuda - Green watchlist
- The Azores - moving to the green list at 4am on 30 August
- Barbados - Green watchlist
- Bermuda - Green watchlist
- British Indian Ocean Territory - Green watchlist
- Canada - moving to the green list at 4am on 30 August
- Cayman Islands - Green watchlist
- Croatia - Green watchlist
- Denmark - moving to the green list at 4am on 30 August
- Dominica - Green watchlist
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Finland - moving to the green list at 4am on 30 August
- Grenada - Green watchlist
- Hong Kong
- Israel and Jerusalem - Green watchlist
- Liechtenstein - moving to the green list at 4am on 30 August
- Lithuania - moving to the green list at 4am on 30 August
- Madeira - Green watchlist
- Montserrat - Green watchlist
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands - Green watchlist
- South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- Switzerland - moving to the green list at 4am on 30 August
- Taiwan - Green watchlist
- Turks and Caicos Islands - Green watchlist
When is the next travel update?
Reviews take place every three weeks, with the latest review taking place on Thursday 26 August.
As such, the next review should take place on Thursday 16 September.
Changes tend to come into place on the Sunday or Monday following the announcement.
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