Green List Travel 2021 – What You Really Need to Know

  • Want to know more about green list travel 2021 options?
  • Want to understand more about travel during Covid19?
  • Want to learn what things to consider before booking your travel?

Well that’s fab news because you are in the right place!

In this article I am going to talk you through some of things you need to consider before booking your travel, help you understand some of the potential risks and complications and help you to avoid any unnecessary complications.

Green List Travel 2021 – What Does This Actually Mean?

The Governments of the UK have developed a colour coded system to help travellers understand the rules around travelling out of the UK. Here is what the colour coding means;

Red List – travel is only allowed for a very limited number of reasons, and certainly not for holidays. Any travellers returning from Red List countries are required to quarantine in Government facilities which will cost each person £1750.

Amber List – travel is not allowed to these countries, and certainly not for holidays. Any travellers returning from Amber List countries are required to quarantine at home or the place they are staying for 10 days, and take Covid tests. There is an option to pay privately for an additional Covid19 test which could result in the quarantine period ending sooner.

Green List – travel is allowed to these countries. Any travellers returning from Green List countries are required to take a Covid19 test before returning to the UK and taking another after their return.

Green List Travel Update 2021 – July

From the 19th of July English and Scottish Governments will be removing the restriction for UK residents to quarantine on returning from Amber list countries if they have had both vaccines of an NHS approved vaccine.

Green List Travel 2021 – What Countries are On the List?

The countries currently on the list at the time of writing this article (June 2021) are noted below.

However, no matter what countries are on the list the advice in this article will still apply in relation to things you need to consider before you travel 🙂

Falkland Islands 
Faroe Islands 
Israel and Jerusalem 
New Zealand 
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands 
St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha 

This list is currently the same for travellers arriving into England and Scotland. There are different countries and rules for travellers returning to Wales.

Check for latest updates from Welsh Government on Green, Amber and Red List Countries

Check for latest updates from Scottish Government on Green, Amber and Red List Countries

Check for latest updates in relation to English Green, Amber and Red List Countries

Green List Travel 2021 – Can I Book Now?

The most important thing to remember is that just because a country is on our green list, it doesn’t mean that travellers from the UK are on that countries green list (yes it is confusing isn’t it!).

Let’s look at some of the entry requirements for countries currently on Green List Travel 2021;

Green List Travel 2021 – Australia

You can only enter Australia visa free if you are a returning Australian citizen. The only other travellers allowed entry are those with a compassionate reason or compelling reason and you need to apply for a visa to do so. There is a high demand for this service.

In short holidaymakers from the United Kingdom are not allowed to enter Australia – so while Australia is on our Green List, we definitely are not on theirs.

Check the UK Foreign Office advice for the lastest updates about visiting Australia.

If you would like to do some planning for a trip to Australia here are some resources to help;

Green List Travel 2021 – Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands is closed to tourists, holidaymakers and cruise ship guests.

Anyone with a valid reason for visiting (which is limited) is required to self isolate on arrival.

Check the UK Foreign Office advice for the latest updates about visiting the Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands trip planning resources;

Green List Travel 2021 – Brunei

Brunei is currently closed to most travellers, going in or out of Brunei and permission to enter or leave is only with permission of the Prime Minister’s office.

As such Brunei is closed to tourists and holidaymakers.

Check the UK Foreign Office advice for the latest updates about visting Brunei

Brunei trip planning resources;

Green List Travel 2021 – Faroe Islands

Quarantine is required for visiting the Faroe Islands and only to those visitors who have a ‘worth purpose’ to visit the islands.

As such the Faroe Islands is closed to tourists and holidaymakers.

Check the Faroe Islands site for more information on their entry requirements.

The Faroe Islands trip planning resources;

Green List Travel 2021 – Gibraltar

There are differing rules for entering Gibraltar depending on whether you have been fully vaccinated or not. Tests are required on various days.

The UK is on the Gibraltar Green List of travel and quarantine is not required from Gibraltar on return to the UK currently.

However, if you take a flight from Spain rather than Gibraltar back to the UK you are classed as returning from an amber list country and you will be required to self isolate for 10 days etc as per the amber list guidance.

Check the Gibraltar advice in relation to entry requirements

Gibraltar trip planning resources;

Green List Travel 2021 – Iceland

Travel to Iceland is only permitted if you can demonstrate you have been fully vaccinated or you are a resident of Iceland. Pre-registration is required.

You will still be required to take a test on arrival.

Check the UK Foreign Office advice for travelling to Iceland

Iceland trip planning resources;

Green List Travel 2021- Israel

Entry into Israel requires a permit which must be applied for in advance. There is also a requirement for testing on arrival with different testing or isolation rules depending on whether travellers are vaccinated or not.

Check the UK Foreign Office advice for travelling to Israel

Israel trip planning resources;

Green List Travel 2021 – New Zealand

The border at New Zealand is closed to almost all arrivals. This has recently been tightened in light of new variants.

As such New Zealand is closed to tourists and holidaymakers.

Check the UK Foreign Office advice on visiting New Zealand

New Zealand trip planning resources;

Green List Travel 2021 – Singapore

Entry to Singapore is severely limited and anyone entering needs permission from the Singapore Government.

As such Singapore is closed to tourists and holidaymakers.

Check the latest UK Foreign Office advice for travelling to Singapore.

Singapore trip planning resources;

Green List Travel 2021 – St Helena, Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha

All visitors need to take tests, quarantine on arrival for 14 days. However, anyone can visit.

See the UK Foreign Office advice for travelling to St Helena, Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha

Tristan Da Cunha, St Helena & Ascension Island trip planning resources;

Green List Travel 2021 – South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands

Permission to enter must be obtained in advance from The Commissioner based in Stanley, Falkland Isles.

There is also a £120 fee per 3 days of stay, with an additional £20 per day to be paid for each subsequent day.

Check the UK Foreign Office advice for visiting South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands

Insurance Considerations for Green List Travel 2021

Travel insurance is an absolute must when travelling, and it’s now more important than ever, given the continuing impact of Covid19.

Here are some things to consider checking before buying your travel insurance;

Does it cover contracting Covid19?

Ideally it should cover if your trip needs to get cancelled if you contract Covid19 in the period before your departure as well as covering if you contract it while travelling.

Does it cover having to self isolate?

A good travel insurance policy will cover you in the event of having to self isolate, for example if you have been a close contact of someone who has gone on to test positive for Covid19.

Check the cover for Covid19

Given the costs of having to quarantine it is worth making sure that your travel insurance covers this cost.

I use Coverwise for my travel insurance. Not only is their annual travel insurance a great price, they cover Covid19 cancellation due to isolation, quarantine or illness before departure. Read their Covid19 coverage yourself and compare to other insurance companies.

Cancellation Insurance for Green List Travel 2021

As the recent change of Portugal from a Green List travel country to an amber list country shows, the situation can change quite quickly. Travellers were given less than a week’s notice of the change in relation to Portugal, leading to frustration, confusion and cost as people scrambled to get home ahead of the deadline and avoid having to quarantine.

For travellers there is a big issue in relation to Amber List countries. Generally, travel insurance pays out cancellation of a trip when the Foreign Office advises against travel to a country. Generally the advice is quite clear and explicit about not travelling.

However, with an amber list country the Foreign Office is advising that people shouldn’t travel to amber list countries, but if they want to they can, they just need to quarantine at home themselves when they return and complete the required testing.

This might sound similar, but from a holiday insurance point of view it’s very different. There is a big difference between ‘shouldn’t but can’ travel and ‘avoid all travel’.

It is probably easiest to show this by looking at two countries and the advice, Afghanistan and Portugal. The quotes are from the Foreign Office foreign advice travel pages.


The FCO advise against all travel to the whole country.


“There are no restrictions on travelling to Portugal from the UK.”

However, Portugal is on the amber list and anyone returning from Portugal is required to quarantine for 10 days at home etc.

This is where the issue arises in relation to travel insurance. The advice in relation to Afghanistan is clear. The advice in relation to Portugal is ambiguous and as such it is unlikely that travel insurance is going to cover the cost of having to cut short your trip and return home to avoid quarantine because of Portugal changing from a green list travel country to an amber list travel country.

That means if you were in that situation you would either have to cover any costs of returning home early, or to travel home as planned and go through the procedure of returning from an amber list country, and of course follow the quarantine rules and isolate for 10 days.

Package Travel Cover

You may think that if you have booked a package trip you would be covered for the issues caused by a change from a green list travel country to amber and be able to return home early with all costs covered by the holiday company.

However, holiday companies have their own insurance for such situations and it is unlikely to cover the costs in this example either. That means any guests finding themselves in that situation have the option to pay themselves, or stay and quarantine on return.

Some holiday companies may decide to cover these costs themselves, for the sake of keeping happy customers for the future but it is unlikely that they will keep doing this if these changes continue to happen.

Green List Travel 2021 – Travel Industry Implications

An issue for the travel industry is that the green, amber and red list travel countries are a relatively new development.

The issue that the change in Portugal’s status has caused is a lack of confidence in the system. The change was unexpected and it came with very little notice.

Travellers need to have confidence in these arrangements they need to be confident that things are unlikely to change when they make their booking, and feel confident that if things do change they will not be left to deal with the costs and implications themselves.

Travel companies also need to have confidence in these arrangements. There seemed little communication around the change in the status relating to Portugal with some comments from the Portuguese Government that seemed to demonstrate they didn’t understand the change either.

We have recently seen a change in the cruise industry. Cruise companies had restarted cruises with much reduced capacity, fully vaccinated passengers only, and limitations on passengers going ashore in port calls. Despite these measures cruise ships have just been advised that they cannot dock in Scotland as they had planned leading to a last minute change of itineraries.

This last minute change to itineraries visiting ports outside of Scotland now looks like it might be affected by the extension of the lockdown in the England.

From a travel company point of view this makes planning and operating nigh on impossible. It also greatly adds to the uncertainty for their customers, and adds a great deal of work to travel companies who have to contact all customers to offer them cancellation or alternatives because they are offering something different to that which the customers booked.

Green List Travel 2021 – Uncertainty

It seems clear that whilst interest in travelling started to rise sharply as the vaccination program took hold, this interest has declined just as steeply in light of recent uncertainty around travelling with Portugal and cruise ships being one example of this.

Given the tourist season in the UK generally runs until around the end of October time is already starting to run short for those looking to take a cruise or some sort of touring holiday or package holiday in the UK, as well as overseas.

Travellers are going to need to feel confident that when they book they have a good chance of taking the trip or cruise they are actually booking. They also need to feel confident that if anything changes they will be able to get their full money back easily, or to have the option to transfer it to another holiday or cruise.

Travel companies need to be confident that the programs they are offering will actually run. They will be worrying that customers will lose confidence in them, despite the problems not being of their own making. They will also want to avoid all the additional costs and hassles of having to rearrange trips, or deal with refunds and rebookings, especially given the fact they haven’t had a chance to earn any money given the decimation of the travel industry anyway.

Green List Travel 2021 – Prospects for the Rest of the Year

The prospects for Green List Travel 2021 seem to be reducing all the time. The current restrictions have now been extended until the latter part of July 2021, to try and increase the vaccination program and get ahead of the Delta variant.

The risk to the travel industry is that another variant will develop somewhere else in the world and we will be back to square one again.

Of course the issue for travellers is not just the impact of Covid19 here in the UK but also in the countries being visited – so there must be a balance of risk between the two, or more, countries for travel to be possible.

Customer confidence has been badly affected by the recent events and it make take more time for people to feel confident enough to commit to bookings.

Online travel searches certainly show a change in travel attitudes.

Green List Travel 2021 – Can We Book Anything?

There are some travel options available. The travel industry has been adapting to restrictions and UK travel options remain very popular.

Tours and Cruises

You could book packages or tours, providing you understand the options in relation to getting a refund or a change of program depending on what you have booked. You may have to wait a while for a refund and of course it is worth checking any arrangements/cover in relation to Covid19 and countries changing from Green to Amber. If your holiday company are going to cover this then that would be very reassuring.

Spend some time double checking all the details and if in doubt ask rather than assuming. This additional research is absolutely time well spent.

UK Travel – A Great Option Whatever the Green List Travel 2021 Options

Travel is much simpler in the UK, which is why there is increased demand again for UK travel options. Holiday companies are already developing more UK travel options for their customers.

Saga Holidays

Saga have a range of UK holiday options including;

Charms of the Cornwall Coast – 4 night holiday including excursions to the Eden Project, Truro and St Ives, with breakfast and evening meals included.

Delights of North Devon – 4 night holiday including excursions to Lynton and Lynmouth, Exmoor Park and Hartland Abbey, with breakfast and evening meals included.

Little Boats of the Lake Distrct – 4 night holiday including excursions on Windermere, Ullswater and Coniston water, with breakfast and evening meals included.

Scottish Highlands Tour – 4 night holiday with excursion to Loch Ness and two train journeys including the spectactular Kyle of Lochalsh Line. Read my review of the this itinerary with local tips and ideas for things to do during spare time. All evening meals and breakfasts included.

Aberdeenshire, Cairngorms and Balmoral – 5 night holiday including visits to Balmoral Castle, Dunottar Castle and the Cairngorms National Park. All evening meals and breakfasts included.

Titan Travel

Titan have always had a great range of UK short breaks.

Titan short breaks include the Peak District, Jurassic Coast, city breaks, Norfolk, Yorkshire and more.


Travelsphere have a couple of interesting options for the Isle of Man.

Book a Holiday Cottage in the UK

It’s no surprise that holiday cottages have seen a big boost in popularity in the UK since we have had travel restrictions. This type of holiday means households can enjoy staying somewhere new without having to worry about mixing with other households.

With so many great places to stay the most difficult issue is finding your perfect holiday cottage!

Here is some inspiration that might help you to find your perfect holiday cottage holiday.

Luxury Holiday Cottages throughout the UK – there are some fabulous options available with everything from jacuzzi baths, boutique stays and grand buildings to stay in. Check out this selection of properties fit for a queen which include a property on the Royal Estate of Sandringham, a property with an 8 seater indoor cinema, a property with sea views from everywhere and a property in a castle.

Looking for something quirky? Check out this great selection of cottages – everything from shepherd’s huts to lux wooden sheds, bothies, train carriages, jails, buses, gatehouses and more!

Want to stay on a working farm? There are lots available, making a great holiday if you want to do something different with the kids or just enjoy a completely different environment.

How does staying in a thatched holiday cottage appeal? There are loads of chocolate box cottages to choose from!

Want to stay somewhere wonderful and close to the sea? There are loads of coastal cottages available and also this selection of stunning seaside stays!

Looking for somewhere to stay with your four legged friends? There are plenty of doggy friendly cottages available in the UK with plenty of new walks for you to discover.

Free Cancellation Hotel Stays

There are lots of great hotels with free cancellation, both in the UK and overseas.

The Scottish Highlands is a great destination for a UK break – offering tranquility, a complete change of pace and with stunning scenery whatever the time of year. Check out Scottish Highland series of articles to give you some ideas and help you plan your trip.

UK Hotels Free Cancellation

There are plenty of hotels offering free cancellation on stays in the UK, just in case you are worried that travel restrictions might change or that you might need to change your plans at the last minute.

Check out some top deals for popular destinations;

Edinburgh Top Deals

London Top Deals

Cotswolds Top Deals

Lake District Top Deals

If you are looking to visit the Lake District, check out my guide to Grasmere, Lake District, which includes details of places to visit.

Overseas Hotels With Free Cancellations

There are lots of hotels available with free cancellation until 1 or 2 days before arrival. Booking these hotels gives you an option of travelling somewhere if travel restrictions ease. For example I have a week long trip booked to Spain in November and Venice in February. All the hotels I can cancel for free up until the day before I arrive meaning I won’t be out of pocket if I need to cancel.

Make sure you double check the cancellation terms before you commit any payment details, otherwise get booking and keep your fingers crossed that travel will be permitted.

Top Barcelona Deals

Top Porto Deals

Top Venice Deals

Top Algarve Deals

If you are looking for a great holiday in a quieter spot than perhaps Albufeira, check out my Vilamoura Holidays post which includes reviews of two lovely hotels in this pretty town.

Green List Travel 2021 – Summary

  • Check your travel insurance thoroughly before booking.
  • Check any cancellation and Covid19 cover if booking with a holiday company.
  • Check the UK Government Travel advice.
  • Consider UK travel until travelling is more certain.
  • Book options with free cancellation.

Further Reading;

If you have found green list travel 2021 a useful read you might be interested in;

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