Covid: Holidays to France back on the cards for fully vaccinated as it moves back on to amber list

UK holidaymakers will once again be able to travel to France without having to quarantine at home on their return. Credit: PA

Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK can now visit France without having to quarantine on their return after the country was removed from the amber plus list.

The move brings France in line with the Covid travel rules for the rest of Europe and the United States, meaning double-jabbed visitors will not have to quarantine at home on their return.

Meanwhile, visitors to Mexico had to rush back ahead of the 4am deadline to avoid hotel quarantine after it was moved to the red list.

As well as France moving on to the amber list, from early on Sunday morning, seven other countries were added to the green list for travel, providing a huge boost for those hoping to go abroad this summer.

What are the rules for people returning from each category?

  • Green: No need to self-isolate. Take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two of your arrival in the UK.

  • Amber: Self-isolate for 10 days, unless you are double-vaccinated, under 18, or receive a negative test result at least five days after arrival. Take a pre-departure test, and PCR tests on day two and day eight of your arrival in the UK.

  • Red: Spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel. Take a pre-departure test, and PCR tests on day two and day eight of your arrival in the UK. Travellers are only allowed into the UK if they live here.

The change means holidaymakers will be able to return from the following countries without having to quarantine regardless of their vaccination status: Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway.

India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have also joined the amber list, allowing fully vaccinated returnees restriction free travel.

Green and amber list travel: What you need to know

What does it mean when a country is on the green list?

It's important to note that just because a country is on the UK's green list, it doesn't necessarily mean the country is accepting UK citizens - Australia being one example - so check with the relevant country's government website for their latest rules on tourist arrivals.

People who are travelling to countries on the green list will need to take a Covid test up to 72 hours before they return to the UK and a single PCR test on or before day two of their arrival into the UK - but you do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.Children aged four and under are exempt from the test.

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What countries are on the green list?

From 4am on Monday 30 August, the Azores, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Switzerland will be added to the green list. These are the other countries already on the list:

  • Australia

  • Austria

  • Brunei

  • Bulgaria,

  • Caribbean Islands (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, Barbados, Dominica, Granada, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands)

  • Croatia

  • Falkland Islands

  • Faroe Islands

  • Germany

  • Gibraltar

  • Hong Kong

  • Iceland

  • Israel and Jerusalem

  • Latvia

  • Malta

  • Madeira

  • New Zealand

  • Norway

  • Romania

  • Singapore

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

  • Taiwan

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What countries are on the amber list?

No countries are being added to the amber list as part of the traffic light list changes coming into effect on Monday 30 August.There are currently more than 130 other countries on the amber list, including popular holiday destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Italy. The full list of amber list countries can be found on the UK government website.

What does it mean when a country is on the amber list?

If you're over 18 and not had two Covid vaccinations, on arrival in the UK from amber list countries you need to:

  • take a Covid test up to 72 hours before you return to the UK

  • quarantine for 10 days

  • take a test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 after arriving in the UK.

However, if you've been fully vaccinated in the UK or under 18, you don't need to quarantine or take a day 8 test after you get back, but you still need to take a test on or before day 2 after arriving. You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 whole days before the date you arrive in England to be considered as fully vaccinated under the amber list rules.

Separate to these rules for UK citizens, since 2 August people fully vaccinated in the USA or most European countries will not need to quarantine if they have been in an amber list country in the 10 days before arriving. They will still need to take a test on or before day 2 after arriving.

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As well as Mexico, Georgia, La Reunion and Mayotte have all been added to the red list in order "to safeguard domestic vaccine rollout", meaning anyone entering the UK from these countries mus quarantine in a government approved hotel at their own expense for 10 days.

On Wednesday, the government announced that the price of staying in a quarantine hotel is being increased from £1,750 to £2,285 to "ensure taxpayers are not subsidising the costs" of a stay.

For a second adult, the price has jumped from £650 to £1,430 - an increase of £780.

Only UK and Irish nationals are allowed to land in the UK from a red list country and they'll have to pay the inflated price from August 12.

The price will better reflect the increased costs of staying in a quarantine hotel, including transport to the hotel, security, provision of welfare services and the two PCR tests which must be taken on day two and day eight of the stay, the government said.

The cost remains unchanged at £325 for children aged 5-12 and free for children under 5.

The government said the announced changes are designed to give travellers and the travel sector "more certainty" but it warned all adjustments "will be kept under review, and further action may be taken to protect public health".

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