England moves Balearic Islands to amber list, 4 destinations move to green list and 4 move to red

Jul 14, 2021

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England has made a sudden change to its traffic light categorisations in response to surging — and dropping — COVID-19 cases. Most notably, the popular holiday destination of the Balearic Islands will move to the amber list.

On Wednesday afternoon, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the Balearic Islands and British Virgin Islands would be moving from the green list to the amber list as of 4 a.m. on 19 July.

Also, Bulgaria and Hong Kong will move from the amber list to the green list. Croatia and Taiwan will move to the green watchlist. All four will no longer require quarantine on return to the U.K.

Finally, four countries — Cuba, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sierra Leone — will be added to the highest-risk red list, requiring a 10-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel.

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The Balearics were just added to the green list as of 4 a.m. on 30 June. In total, they will have been on the lowest-risk green list for just more than two weeks.

During the past few weeks following their addition to the green list, British holidaymakers flocked to the islands of Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera, resulting in airlines adding additional frequencies to meet demand.

In the past few iterations of the traffic light changes announcements, the government detailed the changes on Thursday afternoons. However, in light of the surging case numbers in the Balearic Islands, the government saw the time right to move the recently appointed holiday destinations from green to amber.

Keep in mind that as of 4 a.m. on Monday 19 July, fully vaccinated travellers who have received both doses of their vaccine in the U.K. will no longer need to quarantine on return to England from an amber country.  Under 18s will no longer need to quarantine on return from amber countries. The move effectively extends the green list for fully vaccinated U.K. tourists.

Related: Government scraps quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated amber arrivals from 19 July

Up until this point, amber arrivals have had to quarantine for 10 days on return to the U.K., required also to take two COVID-19 tests — on days two and eight — during that period. Arrivals to England from amber countries have been able to cut that period down through the Test to Release scheme, which requires that they take a third PCR test after five full days of quarantine.

Do note that as of 19 July, only travellers who have been fully vaccinated in the U.K. and have passed 14 days since their last dose will be able to skip the quarantine requirement. Arrivals from red countries — regardless of if they are fully vaccinated — will still be required to undergo a 10-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel, which starts at £1,750 for a single adult.

Featured photo by Anton Petrus/Getty Images.

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