The Travel Column with Katie Butler, Total Travel

In out, in out, shake it all about... it certainly feels a bit like the Hokey Cokey right now!

By Katie Butler
Saturday, 24th July 2021, 2:30 pm
AMBER LIST: Ses Salines beach in Ibiza, Spain. Photo: Getty Images
AMBER LIST: Ses Salines beach in Ibiza, Spain. Photo: Getty Images

The Balearic Islands of Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca were moved back onto the amber list after just over two weeks of being green. For those double-vaccinated nothing much has changed, but the new rules mean that some people will need to self-isolate after returning to England.

So what else changed on the last traffic light review?

With effect from 4am on July 19, The Balearic Islands, which include the tourist hotspots of Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca moved back to England’s amber list. If you are double-vaccinated you will not be required to self-isolate on return, along with accompanying children under 18. In addition to this change, Bulgaria and Hong Kong were added to the green list, and Croatia and Taiwan were added to the green watch list.

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What is the green watch list?

Currently under the Government traffic light system, the advice is that we should not travel to a red list destination. It also warns that countries could be moved between lists with very little warning. If there is a change in circumstances at a destination, such as a spike in infections or a new variant of concern, this is when a sudden move could happen. The green watch list has been introduced to add reassurance for holidaymakers by indicating which countries may be at risk of removal from the green list.

What happens if my destination moves from the green list to amber whilst I am on holiday?

If your destination moves from the green list to the amber list while you are away on holiday, you will need to follow the requirements for amber list countries when returning back to England. From July 19, people who have been vaccinated won’t need to quarantine when returning home, nor take a test on day eight of their return. This means if you are fully vaccinated, the requirements for green list and amber list countries are the same. If you have not been fully vaccinated, you will be required to self-isolate at home for ten days and you will also need to book and pay for a COVID-19 PCR test to be taken on day two and on day eight of your return.

Is my vaccination card showing I have had both vaccinations suitable as proof of vaccine status?

If you are fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival of a destination, you will need to prove this to enter, dependent on the country you are visiting you may be able to prove this with the NHS letter or on the NHS app. Many passengers are getting turned away at the airport as they have tried to use the business card-sized paper vaccination card, this is not classed as an acceptable form of vaccine status and cannot be used to enter.

Many of you are still wanting to get away on your much deserved and long awaited holidays. If you are booked to travel in the summer our advice is to ensure you are up to date with the entry requirements of your destination as things can change overnight. Set up an alert on the FCDO website, to request alerts on your chosen destination. If anything does change you will receive an email notification, enabling you to react quickly if needed.

■ If you have a specific travel question you would like Katie to answer in her column, please email: [email protected]