The U.K. opens to Indian tourists as the traffic light system bumps India along with Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates from the red to amber list. Starting from 4 a.m. (local time) on Sunday, August 8, fully vaccinated passengers from India will not be mandated to the 10-day hotel quarantine.
UAE, Qatar, India and Bahrain will be moved from the Red List 🔴 to the Amber List 🟠
All changes come into effect Sun 8th August at 4am.
See the full list of changes made today here 👇 [2/3]https://t.co/iYAJhsdm3y
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) August 4, 2021
Among many colour-coded lists that have made travelling a daunting job, the U.K.’s traffic light system is a guide for international travel to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland amidst the COVID-19 surge. The tri-colour list classifies countries into green, amber and red on the basis of COVID-19 infection rates, country trends in variant surge and mutations, vaccine rates and credibility of this data. The system started in April 2021, was created to reopen non-essential travel sustainably with precautionary guidelines varying from no quarantine restrictions for the green list countries to mandatory isolation for the red list.
This is not to be confused with European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) COVID-19 map that has a four colour classification: green, orange, red and dark red.
Unlike the red list that restricts entry of their passengers into the U.K. to only British and Irish nationals and those with residence rights, the amber list allows travellers from these countries to enter the U.K. with a set of documents. Passengers travelling from India will need to carry a negative RT-PCR report taken three days before arrival, book a Covid test on the second and the eighth days after arrival, arrange for a 10 day-quarantine stay at a hotel or home and submit a passenger locator form in the U.K. upon arrival.
However, passengers under 18 and those fully vaccinated in the U.K., under the U.K. vaccine programme or under a U.K.-approved trial overseas are exempted from the quarantine period and the second Covid test after the eighth day, if they have not passed through France. India-manufactured Covishield is likely to get this pass.
While the list is subjected to change again if the epidemiological charts show a coronavirus spurt, the gradual easing of travel restrictions are aimed to foster businesses, travel and education industries, in turn, the nation’s economy.
Muskaan Gupta travels with a camera that doesn't fret to capture touristy pictures and believes visiting local markets is the best way to unearth a city's gems and jewels. She is Junior Writer (Native Content) at National Geographic Traveller India.