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Travel news: Portugal removed from green list and traffic light system for the whole UK

an image of a city street in Lisbon, Portugal with an amber-painted building

Three weeks on from the reopening of international travel, Portugal is the first country to be relegated to the amber list. Find out what this means for travellers, along with the latest on vaccine passports for UK holidaymakers in our June news roundup.

Portugal no longer on the green list

Following the government’s announcement, Portugal moved to the amber list – after three weeks on the green list – at 4am on Tuesday 8 June.

This means that people from the UK should no longer travel to Portugal for a holiday. When you come back from Portugal, you’ll need to self-isolate at home for 10 days and take two extra PCR tests (on your second and eighth day back).

‘Variants of concern and emerging mutations’ are the reasons being given as to why Portugal has changed list.

There haven’t been any new countries added to the green list to replace Portugal.

Traffic light system now in place for the whole UK

England was the first to use the ‘traffic light system’, which is three lists (red, amber, and green) to categorise countries based on their Covid-related risk for the reopening of international travel on 17 May.

Soon after, Scotland and Wales confirmed they too would be adopting the red, amber, and green lists outlined by England.

Northern Ireland then took the decision to use the red, amber, and green lists in line with the rest of the UK the following week, starting from 24 May (the date international travel restarted for Northern Ireland).

For the time being the green, amber and red lists are the same across the UK, but it’s possible they could change moving forward.

NHS app to be used for vaccine passport

It’s been confirmed that the NHS app (not the NHS COVID-19 app, used for Track and Trace) can be used to show vaccine status for travelling abroad.

While no countries currently require vaccine certification for entry, this feature is now available for people who’ve had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and can be shown at border control.

You’ll also be able to request a paper version of your vaccine certificate by calling 119 at least five days after your second dose, should you need it.

Vaccine certificates now available in Scotland

The Scottish government has announced that their residents can download a vaccine certificate through the NHS portal if it becomes necessary for international travel.

No countries are asking for proof of vaccination at the moment, but this move is to get Scotland ‘ready to join’ an international vaccine passport scheme, and is likely to be developed further with the vaccine rollout and the reopening of international travel.

By letting people access their certificate directly, the idea is to reduce strain on the NHS. People have been asked to only download their certificate if they’re going to a country that requires proof of a Covid-19 vaccination.

You’ll also be able to get your vaccine certificate in Scotland by calling the Freephone Covid Status Helpline.

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