UK travel update: Everything you need to know for green and amber list holidays amid major changes

HOLIDAY plans were thrown in the air again tonight as the Government announced a number of major changes to travel rules.

Germany, Austria and Norway were among those declared safe for holidaymakers and piled on the green list, while Dubai was sensationally moved from red to amber.

The news will come as a huge boost to millions of Brits hoping to jet off this month, while a number of red list blows will plunge plans into mayhem.

The latest rule changes will come into effect from 4am on Sunday, August 8.

The Government says it continues to be "cautious" and "will not hesitate" to take action where needed.

Here's everything you need to know.

Which countries will go green?

Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will all be added to the Government’s green list from 4am on Sunday.

The countries are believed to pose a "low risk" to UK public health and will mean anyone travelling to them will not have to quarantine on their return to England.

Which countries will turn amber?

India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will be moved from red to amber as Covid cases in the countries drop.

Anyone travelling back from these countries from August 8 who has not been double jabbed will need to quarantine on their return.

The current amber rules require these arrivals to quarantine for 10 days at home, as well as have a pre-arrival Covid test and another two on day two and day eight.

Brits who are fully vaccinated can return from amber destinations without having to quarantine.

It comes as:

  • Spain swerved a move to the hated amber plus list, which was officially scrapped after France was taken off it
  • Slovenia, Austria and Norway among 7 new countries added in major holiday boost
  • The UAE, home of influencers' paradise Dubai was sensationally removed from the red list, along with other Middle Eastern holiday hubs, Qatar, Bahrain and India
  • Mexico went onto the red over fears of a new Colombian Variant along with Georgia, the French islands of La Reunion and Mayotte
  • The price of red list hotels will increase to put more Brits off going to dangerous destinations

Which countries will turn red?

Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will be added to the red list.

The countries are said to present a "high public health risk" to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high Covid rates.

Mexico's move comes over fears of a new Colombian Variant.

The latest changes mean only British and Irish citizens will be allowed to enter England from these destinations, and must quarantine in a hotel for 10 days when they do.

How much will it cost to quarantine?

Ministers announced tonight they would be upping the cost of hotel quarantine by nearly £500 as they say the service is getting more expensive to run.

From August 12, it will cost £2,285 to return from a red-list country for a single person and an additional £1,430 for a second adult in the room – up from £1750 per person.

The price for children ages five to 12 stays unchanged at £325. Tots under five can quarantine for free.

Holidaying in France

Arrivals from France to England will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated – as the number of Beta Covid variant cases in the country plunge.

France had been the only country shelved on the amber-plus list, after it was excluded from the amber list restrictions being lifted.

Now that the proportion of Beta variant cases has fallen, the Government has said France will follow the same rules as all other amber list destinations.

The move hopes to simplify the travel system to three categories, as well as the green watchlist to give travellers notice where green status is at risk.

Holidaying in Spain

Families were tonight given the good news they can holiday in Spain without the threat of quarantine.

But they still face confusion over which Covid test to take on return.

The Government’s new guidance suggests all travellers to Spain — with or without two jabs — should take a gold-standard PCR test.

But the advice to take a PCR test on return is not law and will not be enforced at airports — meaning many will refuse to do so.

Sunseekers who still want to play by the rules will have to fork out an average £175 a person to do so.

Spain has seen a spike in Beta cases but ministers opted for extra testing, rather than re-imposing quarantine for double-jabbed tourists.

A Government spokesman said: “Arrivals from Spain, and all its islands, are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.

“UK clinicians and scientists will remain in close contact with their counterparts in Spain to keep abreast of the latest data on cases there.”

Amber plus list ditched

Boris Johnson this week canned plans for a confusing new amber watchlist and has not put any countries on an amber plus list either.

Officials had been pushing for a new layer to be added to the red, amber and green system to give holiday makers warning that their destination could soon go red – but critics said it would be too complicated.

The PM said he hoped to make holiday advice “as simple as possible” for Brits heading abroad.

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