Your Guide to Travelling to the Amber List

From 19 July 2021, the amber list rules will be updated to allow you to take a quarantine-free holiday to any of its destinations, so long as you’ve been double-vaccinated.

This means summer holidays just got a lot more realistic for many of us. But, it also means there’s a whole new set of rules to consider when travelling to one of the 147 destinations currently included.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of taking an amber list holiday this year.

What do the new rules for the amber list mean?

Before this update, travel to an amber list country meant you’d have to self-isolate at home for 10 days after returning from your holiday. You’d also have to take a PCR test on the second and eighth day of your return home, as well as a test before leaving your holiday destination.

This is still the case if you haven’t been vaccinated at all, or have only received your first jab.

However, once you’ve been fully vaccinated, you’re free to skip this self-isolation period, along with the eighth day PCR test that comes with it.

Beach in Mallorca

Amber List Rules

Amber list rules with a double vaccine

  • Take a suitable COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your arrival in the UK
  • Complete a passenger locator form within 48 hours of arriving back in the UK
  • Take a PCR test on your second day back in the UK
  • No need to self-isolate

Amber list rules without a full vaccine

  • Take a suitable COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your arrival in the UK
  • Complete a passenger locator form within 48 hours of arriving back in the UK
  • Self-isolate at home for 10 days from your arrival back in the UK
  • Take a PCR test on your second and eighth day back in the UK
  • You can opt to end your isolation early by purchasing an extra PCR test, which you can take from your fifth day back in the UK

There’s also good news for families looking for a holiday this year. Children under 18 years also don’t need to isolate on their return and can follow the same rules as an adult who has been double-vaccinated. Ages 5 – 10 years, meanwhile, are exempt from taking a pre-departure test.

In addition, children under 4 years won’t need to isolate and don’t need to take any tests to travel.

Not sure what tests you need? See our COVID-19 Testing for Travel guide.

So, does this mean I can now go on holiday to an amber list country?

Yes, you can now take a holiday to a country on the amber list from the 19 July.

On 8 July, Grant Shapps announced:

“People will be able to travel for leisure, for business and to see families in amber list countries”.

Santorini, Greece

Amber list vs green list – What’s the difference?

If you’ve been double-vaccinated, you can travel to an amber list country under the same rules as if you were travelling to a green list country.

This gives you a lot more flexibility when booking your holiday.

Just remember that the traffic light system is updated every three weeks. So, an amber list country could be moved up to the green list – which would be great news! Or, it could be moved to the red list, which would mean you can no longer travel.

Our Promise

Remember, with the Inspiring Travel Company, your holiday is protected by our Book with Confidence guarantee. So, if your holiday does need to change, we’ll take care of it, hassle-free.

How can I travel to an amber list country?

There are, naturally, a few extra things to consider when travelling to a country on the amber list for your holiday.

It might seem like a lot to handle on your own. So, our Travel Specialists are working with our partners in resorts to be there for our clients, every step of the way…

Arranging testing

Each holiday destination will have its own testing requirements on entry. Our Travel Specialists are keeping a close eye on all of them to be able to give you all the information you need to arrange your tests before you go.

We’re also working with all our hotel partners to help you find a suitable test provider ready for your flight home.

Have travel insurance

We always highly recommend getting a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place before travelling. Now, it’s more important than ever. Check your policy thoroughly to see what cover you’re being provided with. If you’re unsure, always ask your provider for more information.

Keep an eye on FCDO advice too

Along with the traffic light system, we listen carefully to all advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

If they advise against travel, regardless of the traffic light system, we’ll help you rearrange your holiday. If this isn’t possible, we’ll refund you.

Which amber list countries are best to travel to?

There’s one more important thing to consider when planning an amber list holiday.

While our government might allow us to travel there, each country will have its own entry rules in place, too. Some of these might mean that UK visitors can’t visit yet, or there could be lengthy quarantine periods in place.

Take a look at some of our amber list destinations you can take a holiday to now without having to quarantine when you come home. If you’d like more information on their entry requirements, speak to our Travel Specialists.


This now includes the Balearic Islands, including Mallorca and Ibiza, as well as the Canary Islands, such as Tenerife.



Mainland Portgual is on the amber list, though from 19 July Madeira will be on the green watchlist, meaning you can follow the green rules to visit.

St Lucia

The Bahamas

If you’d like any help or advice on planning a holiday to an amber list destination contact us to speak to one of our expert Travel Specialists.

For more travel guides and to hear about our latest luxury travel offers, subscribe to our newsletter below.

More holiday advice for this year…

Should I Book a Holiday for 2021?

What Does the Amber List Update Mean for Families?

Which Destinations are on the Green List?

Ceri Foulkes
I love anywhere Mediterranean, especially the Balearics and Greek Islands - though Italian food also draws me in every time! A beach and a book is what makes me happiest.

Feeling Inspired?

Call a travel specialist today on 01244 646 182 

The latest luxury travel inspiration,
delivered straight to your inbox


Recent Posts