Updates to the UK COVID Travel Traffic Light Procedures
Since the start of the year, the Government has introduced a traffic light system with regard to travelling to the UK.
The system is designed to inform travellers of what will be expected of them when they arrive in the UK from their journey in terms of Covid testing and quarantining.
As you would expect, all of the countries are divided into three tiers represented by the colours of the traffic light.
Red Countries – You must have taken a Covid test three days prior to your departure and have proof of a negative result. You must also have booked a quarantine package in a hotel where you will remain for ten days on your arrival in the UK as well as complete a passenger locator form to allow authorities to know where you will be after this time. During your quarantine hotel stay, you’ll need to test for Covid on days 2 and 8. If you test positive at either of these, then your quarantine hotel stay will be reset and you will be required to remain for 10 days.
Amber Countries – You need to take a Covid test three days prior to departure and have proof of a negative result. If you are vaccinated, you’ll also need to test on arrival in the UK and complete a passenger locator form, and provided your test is negative you will be able to continue on with your life as normal. If you aren’t vaccinated, you need to quarantine at your home or the place you are staying for ten days following your arrival.
Green Countries – You need to take a Covid test three days prior to departure and have proof of a negative result and you’ll need to test again within the first two days of your arrival and complete a passenger locator form. As long as your result is negative, no further action is required.
Of course, the countries on these lists are subject to change and the government have committed to conducting a review of the status of each country every three weeks. It’s a controversial scheme in some quarters but regardless of that, it is a system that looks to be staying in place for the foreseeable future.
With all of these extra considerations when it comes to planning your travel, you have quite a full agenda already. That can mean that it’s simple to overlook that quick check that your passport is still in date at the time that you travel.
The other issue is that, with the long period where travel was not possible, many passports lapsed and people didn’t bother to spend the money to renew where they knew that they weren’t going to be used. Now that the travel industry is beginning to open up again, this has mean that delays have been created at the Passport Office as people begin to make arrangements and scrambling to get their passports renewed in time.
One of the most common reasons for passport applications being rejected or delayed is that an incorrect ID photo is sent with them and so, if you’d like to make sure that your passport is back with you as fast as possible, then it’s so important to get this right. One way to accomplish this is to visit VisualChaos to get your image taken. Our image software checks your photo against the biometric requirements of 280 passport, visa and ID requirements of 90 countries. It subjects your image to the same requirements as the authorities in those countries and makes absolutely sure that it matches and so you never need to worry that your image will be the cause of your application rejection. We can also provide you with the Passport Image Code to accompany your online passport application – another way to speed up the process and one which the Passport Office are actively encouraging.
So check your passport and, if you need to renew it, get it done fast and efficiently with a studio passport photograph. Don’t let your passport be the reason that you can’t travel this year!
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