How to safely visit Amber List countries this summer

We can’t tell you whether to travel to an amber destination or not. But we are able to advise on how to do so safely.

The recent news that no new countries would be added to the UK Government’s ‘green list’ and that Portugal would be downgraded to ‘amber’ was met with not inconsiderable dismay by those hoping to get away this summer.

But the continuing ambiguity around amber destinations, coupled with the public’s growing eagerness to travel abroad, has highlighted the need for accurate and up-to-date travel advice.

That’s where battleface comes in.

This guide will explain the current rules and restrictions in place as well as the additional steps you will have to take in order to ensure you are covered against ill health.

What does Amber mean?

The UK Government’s ‘traffic light’ system places foreign countries into three categories – green, amber and red – based on a range of factors including vaccination rates, infection rates, and the prevalence of variants.

Those returning from amber countries are currently required to take a Covid-19 test, book and pay for two more travel tests and complete a passenger locator form – all before travelling to England.

On arrival in England, they are required to quarantine at home (or the ‘place they are staying’) for 10 days and take tests on or before days two and eight of the quarantine period.

There also exists the possibility for early release from quarantine by taking an additional test (and receiving a negative result) on day five of the quarantine period.

Is it illegal to travel to an amber-list country?

No. While travel to an amber-list country is advised against by the Government, it is not illegal, providing you follow the testing and isolation procedures detailed above.

Are the quarantine rules changing?

Recent reports in the Press have suggested that ministers are considering relaxing entry requirements for amber-list countries in order to allow quarantine-free entry for those who have received both Covid-19 vaccinations.

It remains to be seen if these changes will be introduced, but for the latest rules regarding entry, consult the UK Government’s official advice here.

What safety measures will I need to take?

With international travel still in a state of flux and variants of coronavirus still posing a threat to safety, now is not the time to take chances with your health.

In other words, you need adequate travel medical insurance.

Unlike many other insurers, battleface offers travel insurance covering both amber and red-list countries. We also cover for medical expenses caused by or resulting from Covid-19 for travellers aged 59 or under.

Find out more about Covid-19 travel insurance here.

Where can I find more information?

battleface provides a free and interactive travel-restrictions tool which can be used to plan your trip to any foreign destination.

The tool allows you to input your nationality, starting location and final destination in order to find out what rules you will have to comply with.

Find out exactly what restrictions are in place for your destination here.