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Canada and Switzerland to move to the 'green' travel list in the latest 'traffic light' update - but Montenegro and Thailand will turn 'red'

Seven destinations, including Canada and Switzerland, will be added to the 'green' traffic light list from next week, the UK government has announced. The system is used to govern the action holidaymakers must take when they return to the UK from overseas.

The following changes will take force from 4am on Monday 30 August for all passengers returning to the UK, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced:  

  • Seven destinations will move from the amber to green list. These are: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Switzerland, and the Azores. This means if you're not fully vaccinated, you will no longer need to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival to the UK from one of these destinations. 

  • Two countries will move from amber to red list: These are: Montenegro and Thailand. This means you will now need to enter 10 days of managed quarantine on return to the UK from these countries. 

Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales can set their own rules on travel but they've followed the same changes as the UK government to date and they've all confirmed that they'll follow the latest update as outlined above. 

Of course, the traffic light system only dictates what you need to do on return to the UK, and you still need to check the entry requirements of the country itself before travelling there and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office guidance. For example, at the time of writing, Canada is not allowing Brits to enter. For guidance on travelling abroad, take a look at our Coronavirus Travel Rights guide.  

The destinations on the red, amber and green lists

Countries and territories are placed in one of three categories, as set out below. These categories determine the measures you must take on returning to the UK. The government says its traffic light lists are based on factors including the percentage of the country's population that has been vaccinated, the rate of infection, the prevalence of variants of concern, and the country's access to reliable scientific data.

The traffic light system itself will also be formally reviewed no later than Friday 1 October. See the current rules in the table below, plus the changes that will come in from 4am on Monday 30 August.

Traffic light system – summary of the rules for those returning to the UK

Category Destinations on list Rules on returning to England/ Northern Ireland/ Scotland/ Wales


36, incl Australia, Austria, Barbados (1), Bulgaria, Croatia (1), Germany, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel (1), Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Taiwan (1)

From 4am Monday 30 August the following destinations will be added: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Switzerland, and the Azores. 

See full Eng list / NI list / Scot list / Wal list

• Must take pre-departure test before returning

• Must also take PCR test within two days of returning to the UK

• DON'T need to quarantine on return, unless you get a positive result


140+, incl much of Europe (eg, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain incl Balearics), India, UAE and the USA

See full Eng list / Scot list / Wal list (no separate NI list)

From 4am Monday 30 August the following destinations will be removed: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Montenegro, Switzerland, Thailand and the Azores

Those fully vaccinated in the UK, US or most of Europe (or u18s who normally reside there) can follow the green rules above. Otherwise:

• Must take pre-departure test before returning

• Must also take PCR test on day two AND day eight after arriving back in the UK
• Must self-isolate for 10 days after arrival – can be at home
• You can end self-isolation early on day five by taking extra test (Eng only)


60, incl Brazil, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Maldives, Mexico South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda

From 4am Monday 30 August the following destinations will be added: Montenegro and Thailand 

See full Eng list / NI list / Scot list / Wal list

• Must take pre-departure test before returning
• Must also take PCR test on day two AND day eight after arriving back in the UK
• Must undergo 10 days of managed quarantine in hotel, which could be pricey (currently single adult travellers are charged £1,750)

Day two/eight tests and managed quarantine packages must be booked before departure. If booking tests, see our Covid test cost-cutting tips. Also see help booking hotel quarantine packages in EnglandNorthern IrelandScotland and Wales. (1) These countries are on England's 'green watchlist' and so could revert to amber at short notice.

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