The government has confirmed it will formalise the “traffic-light” system for international travel: classifying countries in terms of the degree of risk they pose.
Ministers say that arrivals from nations in the red and amber categories must quarantine, in hotels and at home respectively.
People arriving in the UK from green list countries will escape the need for self-isolation, though they will need to take a Covid test before departure to the UK and at least one after arrival.
Don’t we have a traffic-light system at the moment?
Yes. The red list, covering 35 (soon to be 39) countries requires 11 nights of hotel quarantine. For the amber category, covering almost everywhere else, it’s 10 days of self-isolation at home (though with the chance to release early in England if you pay for another test after five days).
The only country on green, with effectively no restrictions, is Ireland.
What are the government’s criteria?
The status of a country’s vaccination programme, infection rates, the prevalence of variants of concern and access to genomic sequencing (enabling variants of concern to be identified). The main concern is that variants of concern could be imported and ultimately undermine the UK’s vaccination programme…