| 23 September 2021, Thursday |

France moves to amber list and green list expands

Fully-inoculated passengers returning from France to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will no longer need to quarantine after Sunday.

France is being moved from amber-plus to amber, under widespread changes to the traffic light system for travel.

France was added last month to the list amid concerns about the Covid Beta variant, which scientists believe may be more resistant to vaccines.

However the travel industry says the government has not gone far enough.

Germany, Austria and Norway are among seven nations being added to the green list as part of the changes.

Spain will remain on the amber list, Despite prior speculation, allowing travelers who are fully inoculated to continue to enjoy a quarantine-free return.

However, the Department for Transp9ort has now said “arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible” instead of the cheaper lateral flow tests.

Conservative MP Huw Merriman, chairman of the Commons Transport Select Committee, in a series of tweets criticized “expensive” PCR tests for travel as an “unnecessary rip-off” and a “barrier to affordable travel”.

Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE have been moved from the red list to the amber list. But Mexico is among four countries now considered to be among the highest risk destinations going on to the red list.

The changes on 8 August raise the total number of countries or territories on the green list – where all travelers can return from without having to quarantine – from 29 to 36.

But other countries have their own rules about allowing visitors – so being on the UK’s green list does not guarantee travellers can visit there.

There are also no changes to the rules requiring travelers to take tests before and after their return.