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The Government’s travel lists have allowed people to take holidays to several foreign destinations since cases started falling. Ministers have assigned countries to one of three lists, marked in green, amber and red. At present, they have varying requirements for returning Brits, with travel to the red category most restricted, amber ill-advised, and green permitted with testing.
Do you need to take a travel PCR test when returning from an amber listed country?
Travellers returning from amber listed countries have a few more hoops to jump through when they arrive in the UK.
While not illegal, a country’s place on the amber list means it has a higher infection rate than elsewhere.
As such, tourists need to quarantine for ten days and take scheduled PCR tests when they get back.
The green list only requires people returning to the UK to take a test.
An incoming change to Government guidance will make the amber and green categories virtually identical, however.
Speaking from Parliament today, transport minister Grant Shapps revealed travel guidance would change with Freedom Day on July 19.
He told MPs he would drop the mandatory isolation on return from amber listed countries starting late this month.
However, these new rules would only be for travellers who have had both Covid jabs, or children.
In theory, the move could open up travel to 140 countries on the list.
But it won’t allow them to bypass the Government’s testing procedure.
Travellers need to take one PCR test before their flight and another when they land.
They only need to take the day two test, not the following one on the eighth.
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How much do PCR tests cost?
Unlike lateral flow tests, PCR testing for asymptomatic people comes at the expense of the traveller.
People can find price comparisons via Gov.uk, where officials have compiled information for travellers.
Tests for green list countries are generally cheaper – around £50 – while amber list countries may set people back between £100 and potentially more than £500.
People should note that Brits living in England with two vaccines can take advantage of the relaxed rules.
Rules will vary in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, where the devolved administrations set measures independently of Westminster.
By Government standards, a complete vaccine course means getting the jab and waiting two weeks.
Children aged under 18 can also return to the country without any barriers.
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