It’s expected that the Department for Transport (DfT) will make an announcement on Wednesday (15 September) or Thursday (16 September) for those returning to England. While this has yet to be officially confirmed, until now the UK Government has updated its traffic light system every three weeks – usually on a Wednesday or a Thursday with the changes typically coming into force the following Sunday or Monday.
This would mean any changes likely taking effect on 19 or 20 September. The Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh governments can set their own separate rules, but to date, they’ve maintained the same traffic light list as in England.
We last had an announcement on Thursday 26 August with the changes, which saw Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Azores added to the green list, taking force from 4am on Monday 30 August. Other changes announced at the same time saw Montenegro and Thailand moved from the amber to red list.
The Government is also expected to review the future of the traffic light system in general before 1 October. It’s unclear at this stage what may happen with the DfT refusing to confirm or deny reported speculation. A Government spokesperson would only tell us “decisions on our traffic light system are kept under regular review and are informed by the latest risk assessment from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and wider public health factors”.
MoneySavingExpert.com will update our Coronavirus Travel Rights guide once we know more.
The destinations currently on the red, amber and green lists
Countries and territories are currently placed in one of three categories, as set out below. These categories determine the measures you must take on returning to the UK. The government says its traffic light lists are based on factors including the percentage of the country’s population that has been vaccinated, the rate of infection, the prevalence of variants of concern, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data.
See the current rules in the table below.