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News LIVE Latest Travel News: PCR tests being scrapped in England, 8 countries move from red list, traffic light system to be simplified

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LIVE Latest Travel News: PCR tests being scrapped in England, 8 countries move from red list, traffic light system to be simplified

Editor’s note: this week’s content has been updated with the latest information.

For the latest guidance, check Skyscanner’s Coronavirus Travel Advice, FCDO foreign travel advice and local government advice for the country you’re visiting.

Keep reading below to see our breakdown of travel restrictions, new red list destinations, the latest travel news or see the full official guidance here.

Travel news updates: 17th September

Travellers returning to England will no longer need to take PCR tests

Illustration of two hands, one holding a phone and the other a tablet. The phone shows a green tick, while the tablet shows a red map pin.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to take a pre-departure PCR test before arriving in England, if returning from a non-red list country. This will come into effect from October 4. Testing will be further simplified later in October, with plans to replace the day 2 PCR test with a far cheaper lateral flow test. Currently this only applies to England.

Turkey, Pakistan and Maldives among eight countries moving off red list

Ortakoy Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

From 4am on September 22, eight countries will be removed from the red list. This makes travel from these destinations far easier, as there’s no requirement for quarantine at a designated hotel.

  1. Turkey
  2. Pakistan
  3. The Maldives
  4. Egypt
  5. Sri Lanka
  6. Oman
  7. Bangladesh
  8. Kenya

Traffic light system to be scrapped in favour of a single red list

Illustration of a family looking at an airport departure board. Destinations are all green.

The traffic light system for travel will be simplified from October 4. The removal of the green and amber tiers mean that any country not on the red list will be considered safe to visit. It’s likely that different rules will remain in place for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers, with the latter still expected to quarantine and take PCR tests.

The Netherlands will remove quarantine requirement from September 22

Canalside houses in Amsterdam

Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK and other “high-risk countries” will no longer need to quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands. From September 22, vaccinated travellers will simply need to present a negative COVID-19 test and go on to enjoy their holiday. Unvaccinated travellers are not currently allowed to enter the Netherlands, although there is an exception for children under the age of 18 if they’re travelling with vaccinated adults.

Travel news updates: 10th September

Lithuania offers free third night to entice tourists

Lithuanian Technical Library, Vilnius

Lithuania – known for its rich history, fairytale cities and lush forests – is offering foreign tourists a free third night in its hotels. The country’s government has earmarked more than €750 thousand to cover the cost. Ausrine Armonaite, the country’s Economy and Innovation Minister, hopes it will encourage tourists to stay for longer, saying “We want people who come to Lithuania for a weekend or a few days to stay longer here.” The incentive runs until November 8, but may be extended.  

Read more about visiting Lithuania

Russia drops 14 day quarantine period for UK travellers

Red Square, Moscow

From September 4, travellers arriving in Russia from the UK no longer need to undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine. However there is an exception for travellers arriving for permanent work purposes, including Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) visa holders, who will still be asked to self-isolate for two weeks. Passengers also need to bring a negative COVID-19 test certificate, taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Russia is currently on the UK’s amber list for travel.

Travel news updates: 7th September

Canada reopens to fully vaccinated foreign travellers

Open road through forests, heading to mountains, in Alberta Canada

As of September 7, Canada has opened its borders to fully vaccinated foreign nationals – including Britons – visiting for non-essential reasons. To count as fully vaccinated, travellers must have proof that they’ve received a full course of one of the COVID-19 vaccines accepted by the Canadian government at least 14 days before travel. These are Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). In addition, a COVID test must be taken at least 72 hours before arrival, and passengers will also need to register their details with ArriveCAN before flying.

Travel news updates: 2nd September

Mainland Portugal drops 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated UK arrivals

Sandy beach in the Algarve with fishing boats and people on it, backed by colourful cottages and sandstone cliffs.

Under new travel rules, unvaccinated UK visitors to mainland Portugal will only need to show a negative COVID-19 test on arrival – just like fully vaccinated travellers. The removal of the 14-day quarantine means it’s easier for unvaccinated travellers to visit, however it’s worth noting that mainland Portugal remains on the UK amber list for travel. This means unvaccinated travellers will need to quarantine for ten days when they get back to the UK, and take a PCR test on both day two and day eight. Fully vaccinated travellers can treat Portugal as a green list destination.

Abu Dhabi lifts quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers

The skyscrapers of Abu Dhabi, as seen from a pristine white sand beach lapped by turquoise water.

From September 5, double-jabbed travellers will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival in Abu Dhabi. They will still be required to present a negative PCR test before flying, and take an additional test on arrival. Travellers from the UK will also need to take additional tests on day four and day eight after arrival. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, which has been on the UK’s amber list for travel since August 5.

Travel news updates: 1st September

Antigua & Barbuda will require COVID-19 vaccine for hotel stays

Yellow sunloungers on a white sand beach in Antigua.

From October 1, only fully vaccinated travellers will be allowed to stay in Antigua and Barbuda hotels. The rule will apply to everyone aged 12 and older. It’s also worth noting that, from now until the end of September, all travellers over five must provide a negative PCR test – even if fully vaccinated. Alex deBrito, a spokesman from the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association (ABHTA), said “We took this decision because we need to make sure that our staff feel safe … while hospitality is about service, the more our staff feel protected, the better the outcome.” Antigua and Barbuda is currently on the UK government’s green list for travel.

Travel news updates: August

Female tourist taking a photo of the Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) in Italy.
  • Italy has removed its quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated UK travellers who test negative for COVID-19. Find flights to Italy.
  • The Azores, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein ,Lithuania and Switzerland added to UK travel green list from 4am on August 30.
  • Thailand and Montenegro added to travel red list from 4am on August 30. Read about mandatory hotel quarantine after visiting red list countries.
  • Italy’s flag carrying airline, Alitalia, has announced that it will be ceasing operations – and will cancel all flights from October 15. Find out what to do if your flight is cancelled.
  • Skyscanner has partnered with Let’s Get Checked to offer a 30% discount on Covid travel tests. Find out more about COVID tests for travel.
  • Austria lifted its travel ban on UK arrivals, allowing Britons to enter Austria for non-essential purposes. Fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to undergo quarantine. Find flights to Austria.
  • Italy is requiring anyone who wants to visit public places to show a “green pass” document confirming that the holder has either been vaccinated against COVID-19, tested negative for the virus within 48 hours or has recovered from it during the past six months.
  • From August 12, Norway is allowing restriction-free entry to fully vaccinated Britons using the NHS Covid Pass app. This doesn’t yet apply to travellers from Scotland and Northern Ireland. Find flights to Norway.
  • UAE flag carrying airline Emirates is hoping to ramp up to 73 weekly flights to Dubai by October. Find flights to Dubai.
  • Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Norway and Romania added to green list from 4am on August 8.
  • India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE move from red to amber from 4am on August 8.
  • Mexico, Georgia, La Reunion and Mayotte added to the red list from 4am on August 8.
  • Arrivals from France no longer need to self-isolate after August 8. Find flights to France.

What are the UK travel restrictions for green, amber and red countries?

The government currently advises against all but essential travel to countries on the red list. For fully vaccinated travellers, green list rules apply to amber list countries.

Passenger locator formYesYesYes
Test before departureYesYesYes
Hotel quarantineNoNo11 nights
Self isolationNo10 daysN/A
Test to releaseN/ADay 5No
PCR test requiredOn/before day 2On/before day 2On/before day 2
Additional PCR testNoDay 8Day 8

What are the entry restrictions for the new UK green list destinations?

DestinationArrival restrictions
The AzoresComplete and submit a passenger questionnaire. Travellers aged 13 and older must take a PCR test within 72 hours of departure and upload the test result, or download an EU digital vaccination/recovery certificate.
CanadaBritish citizens cannot enter Canada at the moment (with some exceptions). However, the border will reopen to fully vaccinated UK travellers from September 7.
DenmarkFully vaccinated UK travellers can enter for any purpose without testing or self-isolating.
FinlandFully vaccinated UK travellers can enter for any purpose without testing or self-isolating.
LiechtensteinEntry requirements are the same as Switzerland (below).
LithuaniaFill in an online registration form within 48 hours of arrival. Provide a negative COVID-19 test on arrival, and self-isolate for ten days. An additional PCR test must be taken between day three and five of quarantine.
SwitzerlandFully vaccinated UK travellers can enter for any purpose without testing or self-isolating. If travelling by air, fill in a passenger locator form.

What are the UK green list countries? Full list, and entry restrictions

Currently there are 27 green list countries from which arrivals don’t need to quarantine, and 16 countries on the green watch list, which could quickly turn amber if cases rise. It’s important to note that restrictions are not reciprocal, and so there may be additional rules for British citizens when visiting the country. Always check the government’s foreign travel advice pages for the latest advice.

DestinationArrival restrictions
Germany Only fully vaccinated Britons can enter Germany from the UK. Exceptions apply for family members of German citizens, those serving an important role, or anyone with an urgent need to travel.
Austria Fully vaccinated travellers don’t need to self-isolate.

Unvaccinated arrivals must present a negative PCR test or proof of recovery, and spend ten days in self-isolation.
Slovenia Present a negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination certificate or proof of COVID-19 recovery in the past 8 months.

Otherwise, quarantine for 10 days (with the option to test and release on day 5).
Slovakia Only fully vaccinated Britons, and those with a close link with Slovakia, are permitted to enter from the UK.
Complete a Passenger Locator Form and Ehranica form.
Take a PCR test within 72 hours of travel.
Latvia Only fully vaccinated travellers, or those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months, are allowed to visit Latvia for non-essential purposes.
Take a PCR test 72 hours before arrival, or an antigen test at least 48 hours before arrival.
Fill in an electronic form within 48 hours of arrival.
Norway No restrictions for NHS Covid Pass app holders (England and Wales only).
Romania The UK is on Romania’s ‘Red List’.

Unvaccinated travellers: quarantine for 14 days (unless leaving within 72 hours: must have a negative PCR test).

No quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers or those who have recently recovered from COVID-19.
Israel (watch list)Travel from the UK is prohibited
SingaporeTravel from the UK is limited to Singapore citizens and permanent residents.
Australia All international travel on hold until 2022.
New ZealandBorder closed to UK travellers.
BruneiTravel is severely restricted. Visitors need special permission from Brunei’s Prime Minister’s Office.
IcelandProvide evidence of full COVID-19 vaccination.
Complete a pre-registration form prior to arrival
Take a PCR test on arrival, with self-isolation until a negative result.
GibraltarFully vaccinated travellers coming from the UK don’t need to test before arrival.
Otherwise, take a PCR or Lateral Flow test up to 48 hours before arrival.
Take a free COVID-19 rapid test on arrival, and another on day 5.
Inform authorities if you’ve travelled to a red or amber list destination within 10 days of your arrival.
Falkland IslandsTourists are currently not allowed to visit.
Faroe IslandsFully vaccinated: quarantine-free, with no testing.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated: have a “worthy purpose” to visit. Provide a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of flight check-in. Take a PCR test on arrival. Quarantine for 10 days (with the option to test & release on day 4).
South Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsAccess is restricted and visitors require a permit.
St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Ascension IslandSt Helena: provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure. Quarantine for 10 days.
Tristan da Cunha: tourists are not currently allowed to visit.
Ascension Island: permit required. Otherwise, same rules as St Helena.
Only fully vaccinated Britons can visit Malta.
Fill in a Public Health Travel Declaration Form and Passenger Locator Form, to be presented on departure and arrival.
Madeira (watch list)
Complete and submit a traveller questionnaire. Take an RT-PCR test 72 hours before travel or provide evidence of full vaccination/recovery from COVID-19 in the last 180 days. Upload the result before departure.
Antigua and Barbuda
(watch list)
Present evidence of a negative RT-PCR test taken within seven days of travel. Complete a Health Declaration Form on arrival. Undergo health screening (including temperature checks).
(watch list)
Present a negative PCR test result taken within three days of arrival. Submit an Embarkation/Disembarkation card 24 hours before travel, and upload the negative test result. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers: quarantine at an approved facility. Take a test & release PCR test on Day 5.
Fully vaccinated travellers: take a rapid PCR test on arrival. Quarantine at accommodation until a negative result is received.
(watch list)
Complete an online questionnaire 24 hours before arrival. Present a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours before arrival. Take a pinprick Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) on arrival.

If negative: 5-day quarantine in a government-approved facility, followed by a PCR test.

If positive: pay for a PCR test. If also positive, quarantine for 14 days in a government approved facility.

Note: self-isolation is required even with a negative test, however some certified operators are offering managed tourist activities.
(watch list)
Only fully vaccinated travellers are allowed to enter Grenada.
Pre-book approved quarantine accommodation and a COVID-19 test.
Apply for a Pure Safe Travel Certificate and obtain a negative PCR rest result within 3 days of departure.
Test on arrival, and quarantine for 48 hours.
(watch list)
All adult visitors must be fully vaccinated (21 days since final dose).
Get prior approval from the Government’s Health Team (apply here).
Take a PCR test 3 to 5 days before planned arrival. Take a test on arrival.
(watch list)
Only resident permit holders, Montserratians (plus dependents) and a few limited others are allowed to enter Montserrat.
(watch list)
Apply for a Bermuda COVID-19 Travel Authorisation one to three days before departure.
Take a PCR test four days prior to arrival.
Test on arrival.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers: quarantine at a designated hotel for 14 days, and test again on day 14.

Fully vaccinated travellers: quarantine until (negative) result of entry test.
British Antarctic Territory
(watch list)
Only those with a valid permit from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) can enter Antarctica.
British Indian Ocean Territory
(watch list)
British Indian Ocean Territory is not a tourist destination. Access is severely restricted.
Cayman Islands
(watch list)
A limited service to and from the UK is available with British Airways.
Get pre-authorisation from the Cayman Islands Government.
Quarantine at a government facility for 14 days (unvaccinated) or 5 days (fully vaccinated).
(watch list)
Borders currently closed.
Turks and Caicos Islands
(watch list)
Apply for pre-travel authorisation via the Turks and Caicos Islands Assured Portal.
Take a COVID-19 test less than five days prior to planned arrival.
Buy travel insurance with COVID-19 cover.
Fill in a health screening questionnaire.
Only Bulgarian citizens and long-term residents (along with their immediate family members) can enter from the UK.
Hong Kong
The UK is on Hong Kong’s list of “extremely high risk places.” Anyone who has spent more than two hours in the UK over the past 21 days will be denied entry.
Croatia (watch list)
Travellers from the UK need to present a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination or recovery status.
Taiwan (watch list)
Foreign nationals (aside from Taiwan residents) are currently not allowed to enter or transit Taiwan.

Travel news updates – July

A man meets the dawn on a small granite island. His hands behind his head.
  • Double jab travel: UK to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from USA and Europe. This agreement is not reciprocal, however, with the USA advising against all but essential travel to the UK. Read the latest news about a US-UK travel corridor.
  • From July 26th, fully vaccinated travellers from any country will be allowed to enter Finland for any reason, with no additional testing or quarantine requirements. Find flights to Finland.
  • Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK can now travel to the islands of Tahiti, part of French Polynesia. Search flights to Tahiti.
  • UK nationals who have been vaccinated overseas will qualify for quarantine-free travel from amber list countries, starting from August 1.
  • Croatia is introducing mandatory COVID tests for fully vaccinated travellers arriving from the UK, Russia and Cyprus. Find flights to Croatia.
  • Fully vaccinated travellers must continue to follow amber list guidance when arriving in the mainland UK from France.
  • Fully vaccinated or recovered travellers from the UK and USA no longer need to self-isolate on arrival in the Republic of Ireland. Search flights to Ireland.
  • From 4am on Monday 19th July, the British Virgin Islands and Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formontera) will move from the green watchlist to the amber list for travel. Find out more about the current rules on travel to Spain, the Canary and Balearic Islands.
  • Bulgaria and Hong Kong will be added to the green list for travel from 19th July. Croatia and Taiwan will be moved to the green watchlist – which means they could quickly return to amber.
  • As of 16th July, Bulgaria has banned most UK travellers from entering the country. The UK was added to its “red zone” list, along with Cyprus, Spain, Fiji and Kuwait.
  • Cuba, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sierra Leone added to red list from 19th July.
  • From July 19th, the UK government will lift its guidance that people should not travel from England to countries on the amber list.
  • Fully vaccinated travellers and children no longer need to isolate when returning to the UK from amber list countries. While restrictions are easing for fully vaccinated travellers, we answer your questions about partially vaccinated travel.
  • Certain tourists from the EU and Schengen area will be able to visit Finland from July 12th, without the need for a PCR test or quarantine. Restrictions still apply to UK travellers. Find flights to Finland.
  • Germany has reduced restrictions for travellers arriving from the UK. Quarantine is reduced to 10 days for general arrivals, 5 days for those with a negative COVID-19 test, and 0 days for the fully vaccinated. Find flights to Germany.
  • Heathrow Airport has announced that Terminal 3 will reopen on 15th July after being closed to passengers since May 2020. Search for flights from Heathrow.
  • The Balearic Islands government government has reimposed restrictions on the popular tourist areas of Magaluf in Majorca and Sant Antoni in Ibiza. Find flights to the Balearic Islands.
  • Madeira will welcome Britons who have received any of the current COVID-19 vaccines in circulation worldwide, including China’s Sinovac, India’s Covishield and Russia’s Sputnik V. Find flights to Madeira.
  • EU Digital COVID Certificates roll out across all EU Member States as of 1st July. Learn more about travelling with a digital Covid vaccine certificate.
  • Vaccinated Britons wishing to travel to Malta can use both the NHS paper certificate and digital app as proof for vaccination. Search cheap flights to Malta.
  • The Thai island of Phuket is now open to vaccinated British holidaymakers. Find flights to Phuket.

Travel news updates – week commencing 28th June

Algarve beach with sea cliffs and colourful buildings in the background and fishing boats in the foreground.
  • Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, announced that England will join Scotland on its red list for travel. Northern Ireland and Wales remain on the travel green list. Staying on the mainland? Explore these beautiful beach hotels in the UK.
  • Starting from Thursday 1st July, Hong Kong will no longer allow flights or travellers from the UK – which is being added its “extremely high-risk” list of countries. Find out what to do if your flight is cancelled.
  • Mainland Portugal will only allow fully vaccinated travellers from the UK to visit without quarantine. This law will last from 28th June until at least 11th July. This law doesn’t apply to Madeira, which is on the UK’s green watchlist for travel. Find flights to the island’s capital, Funchal.
  • From the 30th June, only Britons who have had a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to enter Malta: which was recently added to the UK government’s green list for travel. Find flights to Malta.
  • Spain is tightening restrictions for travellers from the UK, starting from Friday 2nd July. Visitors will need to bring a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival, or have proof of full vaccination. Find flights to the Balearic islands.

Travel news updates –  Government travel announcement24th June

Colourful boat floating in a Malta harbour.
  • Malta will be added to the UK travel green list from 4am on 30th June. The UK is currently on Malta’s amber list for travel, so restrictions apply. Read our essential guide to Malta city breaks.
  • 16 destinations were added to UK green travel watchlist including Madeira, the Balearic Islands, Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda and Barbados. Planning a Caribbean break this summer? Read our Barbados travel advice.
  • The Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Haiti, Kuwait, Mongolia, Tunisia and Uganda are moving from the amber list to the red list from 4am on Wednesday 30th June.
  • The government has announced its intention that, from later in the summer, fully vaccinated UK residents will no longer need to isolate on return from amber list countries. Further details will be shared next month. In the meantime, we answer the big questions on COVID vaccine certificates for travel.

Travel news updates – week commencing 21st June

Woman seen from back, checking train platform numbers.
  • The Swiss government has announced that it will lift quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated Britons from June 26th. Switzerland is currently on the UK’s amber list for travel. Find flights to Switzerland.
  • Poland introduces mandatory seven-day quarantine for non- and partially vaccinated UK arrivals, including those who test negative for the disease. Poland is currently on the amber list for travel. Find flights to Poland.
  • Canadian citizens who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not need to quarantine upon entry to Canada from July 5th, provided they test negative for the disease. Find flights to Canada.
  • Italy imposes a mandatory five day quarantine for UK arrivals. The announcement comes as the country prepares to ease restrictions on travellers from Canada, Japan, the USA and other EU countries. Explore cheap flights to Italy.
  • Staying in the UK this summer? Check out the best outdoor activities in London.  

Travel news updates – week commencing 14th June

Asian woman with backpack in airport terminal on escalator traveler at international airport, young girl tourist lifestyle on holidays
  • The Isle of Man is planning to allow fully vaccinated tourists from the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands to visit from June 28th. No tests or quarantine will be required for those who have had two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Find flights to Isle of Man.
  • The Faroe Islands, which is on the UK government’s green list for travel, will welcome fully vaccinated Britons from June 26th. Flights to the destination resume on July 1st. Find flights to the Faroe Islands.
  • Disneyland Paris is welcoming visitors after eight months of closure, putting a number of measures in place to ensure COVID safety. France is still on the UK’s amber list for travel, and vice versa, so restrictions apply. Find flights to Paris.
  • Government ministers have confirmed that they’re considering relaxing quarantine restrictions for Britons who have had both doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Read more about COVID vaccine certificates for travel.
  • The Malta Tourism Authority has announced that long-term travellers aged 65 and over will be allowed to claim €100 worth of vouchers if they book a minimum stay of 15 nights between October 18th and December 19th 2021. Find flights to Malta.
  • Luxury night trains and high-speed rail connections are being reinstated across Europe. For more on greener travel, read about sustainable aviation fuel.
  • The Republic of Ireland will double the mandatory self-isolation period for partially or unvaccinated travellers coming from Great Britain from five to ten days. This does not apply to fully vaccinated visitors. Find flights to Ireland.
  • Government ministers announced plans to bolster the British tourism sector from September 2021 to March 2022, including the introduction of a new rail pass for domestic tourism and a National Lottery-funded voucher scheme for discount attraction tickets. More details will be confirmed at a later date. Discover the best cities in the UK for a post-lockdown break.

Travel news updates – week commencing 7th June

Aeroplan taking off at sunset
  • The green-listed island of St Helena has announced that travellers will now only need to quarantine for ten days rather than 14. Find flights to St Helena.
  • Boris Johnson and Joe Biden met in Cornwall to discuss a new Atlantic Charter, including discussions about resuming travel between the UK and US. Find out the current status of the US-UK travel corridor.
  • Scott Morrison and Lee Hsien Loong met ahead of the G7 summit to discuss forming a travel bubble between Australia and Singapore. While we wait for Singapore’s restrictions to ease, take a 24-hour virtual tour of the Lion City.
  • The digital green certificate – which will allow anyone who has been fully vaccinated, can provide a negative COVID-19 test or has recovered from the virus to travel within the EU – will officially come into action on July 1st (July 19th for Ireland). Find out more about travel after Brexit and the new passport rules.
  • Morocco is gearing up to welcome travellers from the UK – as well as most of the European Union, Russia, China, Canada, and the USA – from mid-June. Find flights to Morocco.
  • Singapore Airlines to resume flights from Manchester on July 17th, with three flights to and from Singapore per week. Find flights to Singapore.
  • United Airlines is planning to bring back superfast transatlantic travel with 15 new Boom Overture supersonic jets. This will cut the journey from London to New York Newark to just three and a half hours, with trial flights starting in 2026. Plan ahead with flights to New York.

Travel news updates – week commencing 31st May

illustration of a young couople looking at a departure board, all of the destinations are orange/amber.
  • The French government has announced that people who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to quarantine on arrival. This applies to those arriving from countries on France’s orange list, which includes the UK. Find flights to France.
  • A new four day bank holiday weekend is planned for Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June 2022, to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Plan ahead and search flights for next June.
  • Government travel update: no new countries added to the UK green list for travel, Portugal moving to amber from Tuesday 8th June. Stay up to date with the latest Coronavirus travel advice.
  • Affected by latest travel restrictions to Portugal? Look to our flexible travel and cancellation guidance for more information. Get all your latest travel questions answered with our On Air video Q&A series.
  • Seven countries were added to red list for travel from 4am on Tuesday 8th June: Egypt, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Bahrain, Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Afghanistan. Find out more about hotel quarantine on return from red listed countries.
  • The head of Qantas has suggested that an Australia-UK travel bubble could be in the works before Australia officially reopens to tourism in 2022. Plan for next year with cheap flights to Australia.
  • The Thai island of Phuket is preparing to reopen to international travellers, who have had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, from July 1st. If the scheme is successful it will be rolled out to other popular Thai tourist destinations such as Krabi, Phang-nga, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Bangkok, Buriram, Cha-am and Hua Hin. Find flights to Phuket.
  • Jersey introduced its own traffic light system for travel, covering trips from the UK as well as international destinations. Find flights to Jersey.

Travel news updates – week commencing 24th May

Aeroplane getting ready for takeoff
  • France has joined Germany and Austria in imposing tighter restrictions for travellers arriving from the UK.
  • Travel into and out of Bolton, Blackburn, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, North Tyneside and the London borough of Hounslow should be “minimised” – Heathrow remains open. Find flights from Heathrow.
  • Austria has joined Germany in banning direct flights from the UK due to concerns over the Indian variant of COVID-19. Keep up with the latest border restrictions using our Where Can I Go? map.
  • Ireland is likely to announce that it will lift its 14-day quarantine restriction and testing requirement for holidaymakers coming from the UK. Search flights to Ireland.
  • Germany bans all non-essential travel from the UK due to concern over more infectious variants of COVID-19.
  • Spain lifts restrictions for UK travellers, however it is still on amber list. See flights to Spain.
  • Travellers arriving into Heathrow from red listed countries will have their own dedicated facility from 1st June. If you’re coming from a red list country, here’s everything you need to know about hotel quarantine.

Travel news updates – week commencing 17th May

A signfor the Paris metro underground train
  • If you’re wondering “Can I go to the USA this summer?”, test data and vaccination rates have made it a possible contender for the green list update at the start of June. Get the latest news on the possibility of a US–UK travel corridor.
  • Eurostar secures rescue package from France’s state railway (SNCF), Belgium’s state train operator (SNCB) and other investors. Discover five of the UK’s most scenic train journeys.
  • The European Union has agreed to allow non-vaccinated travellers from outside the EU to visit, providing they are arriving from a country on its ‘white list’.
  • Indoor hospitality, hotels and B&B’s will open in Northern Ireland from May 24th, and non-essential travel is permitted to the rest of the common travel area. Visit the 11 best places in the UK.
  • Travel Secretary Grant Shapps told BBC Radio 4 that the UK Government is keen to expand the green list for travel, but that people should be patient.
  • World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, the 516 Arouca, opens in Northern Portugal. Find cheap flights to Porto.
  • Scotland launches vaccine certification scheme for those travelling abroad. Scottish residents can either download their vaccination status letter from the NHS Inform patient portal, or call the free COVID Status helpline on 0808 196 8565. Read more about COVID vaccine certificates for travel.
  • Iceland administers free PCR tests to arrivals, however non-essential travel to Iceland is currently restricted to those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or can show proof that they’ve recovered from the illness. Find cheap flights to Iceland.
  • Now that summer holidays are definitely back on the cards – and we have a confirmed list of green, amber, and red list destinations – here’s how to find last-minute flight deals from the UK.

Travel news updates – week commencing 10th May

Secluded sandy beach backed by sandstone cliffs in the Algarve
  • Portugal has confirmed that tourists will be able to visit the country from 17th May, so long as they have a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before their flight time. Book flights to Portugal.
  • San Marino will offer the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to tourists, charging just €50 for both doses. To be eligible for the vaccine, visitors have to book a hotel for at least three nights and come back within four weeks for their second jab. Find flights to San Marino.
  • The Portuguese government has announced that it will maintain its “state of calamity” until 30th May, nearly two weeks after the country was added to the UK green list for travel. As restrictions continue to change unexpectedly, find out what to do if your flight gets cancelled.
  • Greece has pledged that every permanent resident of its 227 inhabited islands (aside from Crete) will be fully vaccinated by the end of June. Find flights to Greece.
  • The NHS app will be able to show vaccine certificates for English travellers from May 17th. Find out more about COVID vaccine certificates and health passes for travel.
  • Spa hotels in England and Wales reopened on May 17th, in Scotland on April 26th, and in Northern Ireland on 24th May. Find spa hotels for a soothing staycation.
  • Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced that international travel will be allowed from Monday 17th May, operating on a traffic light system the same as England. Compare flights from Scotland.
  • Skyscanner data shows flights to Portugal are popular, and cheaper than usual with return tickets to Porto costing on average £101, Lisbon sitting at £114 and Faro (Algarve) at £127.
  • The Australia to New Zealand travel bubble resumed after a short hiatus.

Travel news updates – Government travel announcement, 7th May

Illustration showing a departures board with destination on the UK travel green list. They are Lisbon, the Algarve, Gibraltar, Reykjavik Madeira and Porto
  • Travel Secretary Grant Shapps has outlined which destinations will have green, amber, and red status under the new traffic light system for travel. Green list destinations, of which there are 12, have the least restrictions while red list locations have the most.
  • There are 12 countries on the travel green list, however the agreement is not reciprocal so in some cases there are entry restrictions for UK travellers planning to visit.
  • Turkey, the Maldives, and Nepal joined countries like Brazil, South Africa, and India on the UK’s red list for travel. Anyone returning from these countries will need to spend 11 nights in hotel quarantine at their own expense. Find out more about hotel quarantine.

Travel news updates week commencing 3rd May

Young woman using smart phone in an outdoor cafe.
  • The Portuguese island of Madeira has announced that it will offer every tourist one PCR test free of charge. Find flights to Madeira.
  • The Australian government has announced that it will remain closed to the majority of international arrivals until the start of next year at the earliest. Learn more about travel bubbles and corridors.
  • Italy to welcome tourists from mid-May, including those from non-EU countries like the UK and USA. Find flights to Italy.
  • The FCDO is no longer advising against non-essential travel to Israel, Malta, Portugal (excluding the Azores), the US Virgin Islands, the Canary Islands and the Greek Islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zante, Corfu and Crete.
  • The European Union has recommended removing its blanket ban on non-essential travel in order to welcome fully vaccinated tourists and those coming from countries with relatively low infection rates. If you’re considering a trip to Europe this summer, find out how the new Brexit passport rules may affect your plans.

Travel news updates – week commencing 26 April 2021

Woman standing in airport baggage hall holding her passport and ticket in one hand and the handle of her wheelie suitcase in the other.
  • Tourist accommodation is open throughout the UK, and travel between the four nations is now permitted. Hire a car for day trips and staycations.
  • Spain is set to welcome travellers back from June, using the EU’s Digital Green Certificate programme. Spain will be piloting this process at its 46 airports in May. Visit these gorgeous spots in the Balearic Islands once it’s possible to go.
  • The NHS app will be updated with a section to show vaccine and test data for Britons who need evidence of their COVID status to travel abroad. Read more about travel technologies you can expect to see post-lockdown.
  • A plan to facilitate transatlantic travel between the EU and USA is currently in advanced levels of discussion. If implemented, this would allow fully vaccinated Americans to visit Europe this summer, and vice versa. The U.K. is also holding its own negotiations about whether Britons can travel to the U.S. this summer.
  • Autumn holiday booking have surged for 2021, with Skyscanner data showing more Britons are searching for departures in September, October, and November compared with 2019. Book flights for autumn.
  • Lockdown restrictions eased in Scotland on April 26, with tourist accommodation permitted to open and visitors from the rest of the UK allowed to cross the border. Discover the best places to visit in Scotland.
  • Quarantine-free travel will be permitted between Singapore and Hong Kong from May 26. This will be the second major air route in the APAC region to go ahead, following on from the Australia–New Zealand bubble which opened on 19th April. Find out more about travel bubbles and corridors.

Travel news updates – week commencing 19th April

  • France set to ease domestic travel restrictions around 3rd May. Domestic travel in the UK has already started to ease, so find inspiration with our top 10 spring holiday destinations.
  • Japan has announced a “short and powerful” state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo from April 25th to May 11th. You can still enjoy Japan and the world’s major sights from home.
  • The US State Department added the UK and 115 other countries including Canada, Mexico and France to its list of places citizens shouldn’t travel to, citing a “very high level of COVID-19”. Keep up to date with constantly changing border regulations using the Where Can I Go? map.
  • Seven of the world’s 10 busiest airports for 2020 were in China – including the top spot, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. This is due to a drop in global air traffic, plus the fact that China has few restrictions on domestic travel while international travel is still highly restricted. Domestic travel is likely to continue as a trend for 2021. Check out our favourite cities in the UK for a post-lockdown break.
  • Swiss ski resorts celebrated a “safe and successful” 2020/21 season. Simon Wiget, director of Verbier Tourism, explained “everyone was just so happy and grateful to ski, they stuck to the rules.” Plan ahead for next year with our pick of 10 of the best, cheap ski resorts in the world.
  • India was added to the UK’s travel ‘red list’ from 4am on Friday 23 April. British or Irish passport holders and those with UK residence rights will be allowed in, but must undergo mandatory quarantine in a government-approved hotel. Find out more about hotel quarantine on return from red list countries.
  • The Maldives tourism board has announced plans to make COVID-19 vaccines available to foreign holidaymakers, once all local residents have been offered their shot. Find out more about why the Maldives is ideal for a social distanced holiday.

Travel news updates – week commencing 12th April

  • Malta’s tourism authority has announced it will pay foreign visitors up to €100 per person when they book a stay of three nights or more, starting from June. The amount paid out depends on the hotel’s star-rating, with €100 for 5 star hotels, €75 for four-star hotels and €50 for those staying at three star hotels. Browse hotels in Malta.
  • Israel is opening its borders to vaccinated tourists visiting as part of a tour group from May 23. Individual travellers will be welcomed back at a later date – provisionally July. See flights to Israel.
  • Greece lifted quarantine for vaccinated and COVID-19 negative travellers from the 27 European Union member states plus the USA, UAE, UK, Serbia and Israel. Browse flights to Greece.
  • American low-cost carrier JetBlue has announced its first-ever transatlantic flight routes, while British Airways has expressed a desire to restart flights between the UK and USA. Explore fights to the USA.
  • Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon lifted Stay Local restrictions on April 16, allowing people to travel outside of their local authority area and meet outdoors in groups of six from up to six households. Check out 6 of the best places to visit in Scotland.
  • Some firms have halved the costs of PCR testing from £120 to £60 for those flying with their partner airlines. Find out more about COVID tests for travel.
  • Non-essential travel between England and Wales became possible on 12th April. Book car hire for a British break.

Travel news updates – week commencing 5th April

Empty road in the Australian outback with a kangaroo crossing sign
  • The UK government’s Global Travel Taskforce has outlined its framework to safely reopen international travel. Recommendations include a traffic light system with countries rated as ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’. Find out how to set up price alerts for the best deals on flights when non-essential travel is again possible.
  • Australia and New Zealand announced a quarantine-free travel bubble, as did Germany with Mallorca. Read more about travel bubbles and corridors.
  • Skyscanner trends found increased demand for holidays in Greece, Dubai, Spain, Turkey, and Orlando. Once corridors do open, here is some guidance on how to find a last-minute flight.
  • As temporary working-from-home situations become more permanent, the United Arab Emirates is looking to attract digital nomads by expanding its remote working visa program. Read all about workcations: 2020’s big remote working trend.
  •  The Italian government backed a ban on large passenger and cargo ships approaching the historic centre of Venice. Find fights to Venice

Travel news updates – 1st April

Wooden steps leading down to a quiet, sandy beach with the clear blue sky and sea in the background.
  • Boris Johnson suggested that an announcement about summer travel was forthcoming on April 5. Start planning with our post-lockdown dream holidays.
  • Cyprus has announced plans to reopen to tourists from the UK who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from May. Find flights to Cyprus.
  • Ministers from the UK and USA governments are reportedly in talks about starting a pilot scheme to facilitate a safe travel corridor between the two countries. Plan a trip to the Big Apple with our New York travel guide.
  • Thailand plans to open the island of Phuket for vaccinated tourists from July 1st. Find flights from the UK to Phuket.
  • Malta’s tourism authority has confirmed plans to welcome British travellers back from 1st June, as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Read all about how to embrace freedom in Malta.
  • The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) is calling for Britons to get an extra day off in September to make up for the loss of Easter and the first May bank holiday, both of which took place under lockdown. Bank holidays mean day trips, and these English castles are perfect for a historic day out
  • Planning your summer staycation? Try these UK hidden gems for a long weekend
  • Your questions around cancellations and compensation are answered in our guide to flexible travel and Coronavirus travel advice article.

Travel news updates – March 2021

Woman looking at departure board in airport
  • Spain to lift UK travel ban from March 30, allowing Brits to visit without quarantine. However, non-essential travel is still illegal, until May 17 at the earliest. Find flights to Spain for later this year.
  • Aer Lingus has announces its first ever transatlantic services from Manchester Airport with flights to New York JFK and Orlando launching on July 29, Barbados from October 20, and Boston from summer 2022. Read our top 5 tips for safe flights during the pandemic.
  • £5,000 fine introduced for people going on overseas “without fair reason”. Non-essential travel may resume on 17 May. Read our flexible travel guide for tips on booking transferrable tickets.
  • Traffic light system is being considered for international travel, indicating risk levels and restrictions, Find out what the current UK hotel quarantine rules are for arrivals from red list countries.
  • Foreign governments and cruise lines consider admitting tourists based on COVID vaccine certificates and infection status. For more in-depth information, read about COVID vaccine certificates and health passes for travel.
  • We asked the experts about COVID testing for travel.
  • EasyJet has announced two new flight routes to Newquay, with non-stop flights from Manchester launching on 21 June and Glasgow on June 29. The latter will be the airline’s first-ever flight route from Scotland to Cornwall. Get inspired by 15 of the best places to visit in Cornwall
  • Never mind the Caribbean – discover Scotland’s beaches this summer

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