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Martin Lewis says the Government has misexplained its own travel rules - the traffic light system DOESN'T dictate whether or not you can go

Martin Lewis says the Government has misexplained its own travel rules - the traffic light system DOESN'T dictate whether or not you can go

MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis has criticised the Government for failing to properly explain its own Covid travel rules, amid mounting confusion over where Brits can holiday overseas.  

Restrictions on holidays abroad were lifted in England, Scotland and Wales this week (they're still not allowed for those in Northern Ireland). But the new traffic light system has caused uncertainty over where Brits can go, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson telling the House of Commons today: "You should not be going to an amber list country on holiday."

Martin's said the traffic light system only dictates the action you must take on your return, and that Foreign Office advice and the rules of the destination country are just as important in determining where you can travel. See his full summary below - and for more info, see our Coronavirus Travel Rights guide. 

'Politicians are getting their own rules wrong'

Here's what Martin posted on his social media channels earlier:

Politicians are getting their own holidaying abroad rules wrong. The traffic light system doesn't dictate whether you can go. In fact, there are THREE different systems at play. I've bashed out a brief explanation...

1. Traffic light system: This dictates how you must behave when you return from overseas. Green is no quarantine. Amber is 10 days at home. Red is 10 days in a hotel (£1,750 for a single traveller).

2. Foreign Office (FO) advisory: This dictates whether you can travel, and is the key for travel insurance and most holiday regulations. If it advises against "all but essential travel" or "all travel" you aren't supposed to go, and this may trigger a refund. Going against the advice may also invalidate your insurance.

Now, while the FO does advise against all but essential travel for most amber and red destinations, the overlap is not exact - for example:

- Mainland Spain: Amber & FO 'against all but essential travel'

- Canaries: Amber, but there is no advisory against travel.

Therefore you can go to the Canaries - the Government is not officially advising against it (regardless of what the Prime Minister says) but you just have to accept you will need to quarantine on return.

3. The overseas country's rule. Just because the UK says you can go, doesn't mean they'll let you in. For example, Australia is green, but it's not letting holidaymakers in. Iceland is green, but you need to be double-vaccinated.

I hope this helps clear it up. Do please share.

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