Everything you need to know about travelling to countries on Amber list

From Monday, May 17, the ban on international travel will be lifted – meaning it's not against the law to travel for a non-essential reason.

Instead, a traffic light system will come into effect, dictating the rules you will need to follow when you return – such as how many days you need to quarantine.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that only a select few countries would feature on the green list – the countries you can travel to without having to quarantine on return, unless you test positive for Covid-19.

The 12 countries include Iceland, Portugal, Gibraltar and Israel.

UK summer holiday favourites such as Spain, Greece and Italy will be on the Amber list – but what does that mean?

Can you go on holiday to an Amber country? And what do you do if you've already booked a holiday? Here is all you need to know.

Can I go on holiday to an Amber country?

The official guidance is that you "should not travel to amber list countries or territories for leisure purposes".

That means you shouldn't be going for a holiday, but there may be essential or unavoidable reasons for travel. In this case you can do so.

Currently it is illegal to travel to these countries without an essential reason – but after May 17 it won't be illegal. It will simply be advised against.

If you choose to go on holiday to an Amber country you will be doing so against government advice.

What are the rules for travelling to an Amber country?

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Firstly, you will need to check the entry requirements of the country you are visiting.

If you do travel, there will be significant testing procedures to follow when you return.

If you're arriving from a country on the Amber list, you will need to take a pre-departure coronavirus test before returning to England or Wales.

You must present proof that you have tested negative – without this you could be fined £500.

Then you will be required to quarantine for 10 days either at home, or the place where you're staying.

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During this time you will need to take a PCR Covid-19 test on days two and eight.

These private Covid PCR tests should have been booked and paid for ahead of time.

There is a way you can get out of quarantine early – but you'll need to pay extra.

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The government's "Test to Release" scheme involves taking a test after day five – if this is negative you can come out early.

You will still need to take a test on day two and eight, in addition to the third test.

Anyone who breaks quarantine rules can face penalties of up to £10,000.

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