As more people get vaccinated and the pandemic eases, borders are reopening, travel restrictions are being lifted, and travel bubbles are being created.
The United Kingdom just announced its new rules for travel. As of May 17, a traffic light system has commenced allowing international travel for the first time since the last lockdown began at the start of the year.
Until now, all non-essential travel for travelers from England, Scotland, and Wales was illegal. Non-essential travel to and from Northern Ireland is still not allowed, though they will review restrictions on May 20.
As part of the new travel rules, there are restrictions. Unless you travel to a "green" country, travelers will need to quarantine. Additionally, all travelers will be required to have a pre-departure covid test taken in the country they are visiting and another within two days of returning to the UK.
There are 12 countries on the green list though some of them, such as Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, and Singapore, restrict travel. North America is not on the green list.
The countries on the green list that invite travelers from the United Kingdom are Portugal, Iceland, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, South Georgia, St. Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha, and Israel.
However, there is no guarantee that a country will stay on the green list. There are amber and red categories and they require quarantine upon returning to the UK. Though people are urged not to travel to these countries for leisure.
As soon as the travel ban was lifted, thousands of travelers started to fly out of the UK.
Portugal is the only short-haul travel from the UK and travel agents have seen an influx of bookings after the travel restrictions announcement was made. It coincides with opening their borders to travelers from Europe and the UK.
As restrictions relax, more people will be traveling, so please make sure you don't travel if you have symptoms, wear masks when recommended, and keep up the social distancing and hand hygiene.
We are happy to wait a bit longer before starting international travel again and think it's a good idea to travel in our own country at the moment. But that decision is a personal one based on your health, age, health risks, and which country you intend to travel to. Also, bear in mind this is not over yet, and borders can close again while you are overseas.
Travelers from the UK (except Northern Ireland) can travel anywhere within those countries, and accommodation is open for business.
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