With the announcement that UK residents will be allowed to resume international travel, there has been a great deal of excitement about the announcement of the status of which nations will fall into which category.

UK to allow entry from 12 'green list' countries, territories starting May  17. Here's the list | Hindustan Times

The announcement was made that travel will be allowed once again beginning May 17 with nations distributed into one of three lists: green, amber, and red. Green countries will have the fewest restrictions and red the most, with amber nations in the middle. Countries will be classified by the following criteria:

  • Percentage of population who is vaccinated
  • Current rate of infection
  • Prevalence of more infectious variants
  • Access to reliable genomic sequencing


On May 7, it was revealed which nations will occupy which respective list. The green list had only 12 nations while the red list had 43. The amber list featured the remainder of the world’s nations. Which countries fall on the amber list? The list is quite lengthy.


The vast majority of European nations are included on the amber list. Iceland and Portugal made the green list with Turkey on the red and all others in amber status. There was concern that recent spikes in nations such as France, Italy, and Germany could land them on the red list; however, they were able to avoid that fate.


The amber list also includes all nations of North America except for Panama which remained on the red list. This means residents can resume travel to the United States, Canada, and any Caribbean destination. The vast majority of Asian countries are also on the amber list including tropical popular vacation destinations such as Thailand and Indonesia.


People may travel to amber countries with the requirement that they self-isolate for a period of 10 days following their return. Travel to amber countries will also require a pre-departure test and a polymerase chain reaction test on days two and eight after returning home. There will be an option to purchase an additional test on day five to end self-isolation early.


Thus, while travel to an amber country does require quarantine, it is a feasible option for many people. Ultimately, the traffic light system provides options for travelers seeking a holiday abroad this summer. While green list destinations are more convenient logistically, amber list destinations will be doable for most people especially those able to work remote while quarantining upon return.