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Updated 30 August 2021

Following the implementation of the traffic light system, travellers can now visit the UK can once again. However, the traffic light system categorizes countries based on their perceived risk in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. Travellers coming in from red list countries will have to face mandatory quarantine. Conversely, travellers from red list countries will not be allowed entry into the UK with some exceptions.

Wondering if your country is on the list? Here is everything you need to know about the UK’s red list.

What are the countries on the red list?

If you have been in or through any of the countries listed below in the previous 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK. This does not apply to citizens and those with residency rights

  • Afghanistan
  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Congo (Democratic Republic)
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • French Guiana
  • Georgia
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Indonesia
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Motenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Réunion
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe


Before travelling to the UK

Be advised that travelling from a red list country requires a traveller to obtain a COVID test, booking a quarantine package complete with two tests, and completing a passenger locator form. You will need to agree to book and pay for a quarantine package before you complete your passenger locator form and board your return journey to the UK.


Quarantine requirements

British citizens and residents coming from the red-listed countries will face a 10-day mandatory quarantine in government-approved hotels upon arrival.

Travellers coming from other countries not on the red list will also have to quarantine for 10 days, but they will be allowed to do so at home. Passengers arriving from amber countries who are fully vaccinated in Europe and the USA will not be required to quarantine themselves when entering England. But they will still be required to complete a pre-departure test before arrival into England, alongside a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after arrival. Testing requirements for children arriving from amber list countries/territories will vary according to their age

Travellers will have to give the address and details of the place of quarantine on their passenger locator form.

Breaking the quarantine rules means facing a penalty of up to £10,000


Testing guidelines

Two tests will be administered on the 2nd and the 8th day of the quarantine.

If a traveller receives a positive result from the day 2 test, they must quarantine for 10 days beginning the day after the test was taken (this means until day 13). If the said traveller is in quarantine with people they have travelled with, they will also need to quarantine until day 13.

Receiving a positive result from the day 2 test means further tests will not be required.

On day 8, the traveller will need to take a COVID-19 test unless they have received a positive result from the day 2 test. If receiving a positive test result from the day 8 test, said traveller will be required to quarantine until day 19.

If the traveller has quarantined for 10 days and received a negative result to both tests, they may then end their quarantine.

However, if on day 2 the test shows that the traveller has a variant of COVID-19 known as a ‘variant of concern’, they will receive further calls and their contacts will be asked to be tested.

Countries and territories are being moved between red, amber and green lists as and when the conditions change. Travellers are advised to sign up for email alerts from the government website to be notified of updates to these lists.

We will update this article as new developments unfold.

Featured image © pikisuperstar/Freepik