What does the UK government’s international travel traffic light system mean for racing fans?

As the UK’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease, the government has introduced an international travel traffic light system to break down which countries tourists can visit.

What does the UK government’s international travel traffic light system mean for racing fans?

This will affect where motorsport fans can attend races this season, with some countries completely off-bounds to visitors because of travel restrictions.

Fans have already attended the Spanish Grand Prix and Monaco Grand Prix, and Portugal was added to the green list just one week after the race in Portimao.

The traffic lights will be under constant review, and countries such as Italy, Austria and the US all have declining case rates and could end up in the green list by the time they host races later in the season.

It is also likely that more EU countries will open up to Brits as their vaccine rollout progresses throughout the summer, with countries such as Belgium also seeing a fall in cases.

Travellers were first allowed to leave the UK from Monday 17 May, with countries placed under either a red, amber or green warning depending on that destination’s level of COVID risk.

A country’s ranking depends on its number of COVID cases and deaths and the success of their vaccine rollout.

Green countries have the fewest restrictions, with visitors not having to quarantine upon their return to the UK.

Amber countries require a ten day quarantine at home upon arrival, as well as having to undertake one test before departure and two after arrival.

Under the most severe warning, red, there are no direct flights from those countries to the UK and Brits are told not to visit them.

However, the rules may be different for entering host countries, so checking our guide is the best way to keep up to date as restrictions change.

The rules must be followed by everyone, even those who have received both doses of the vaccine.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, and Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari, have their photos taken with fans

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, and Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari, have their photos taken with fans

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

The new measures will affect which grands prix spectators from the UK can visit, so an up-to-date version of which country is on which list is available here.

Green

  • When travelling back to the UK from a green list country, travellers must take a COVID test before return
  • They must also book and pay for a day two test to be taken after arriving back in Britain
  • Children aged four and under do not need to take this test
  • There is no need to quarantine unless the test result is positive
  • All travellers must complete a passenger locator form
  • However, if you make a “transit stop”, such as changing planes, in a red list country, you have to follow those rules instead
  • Countries currently on the green list include Australia and Singapore

Amber

  • If coming back to the UK from an amber list country, travellers must take a COVID test before return
  • They must also book and pay for day two and day eight tests to be taken after arriving home
  • They must also quarantine for 10 days at home or the place where they are staying
  • However, under the Test to Release scheme, there is the option to end quarantine after day five
  • It is voluntary and requires paying a private test provider for a test
  • Countries on the amber list include Austria, Belgium and China

Red

  • Direct flights from red list countries are banned, and Brits are being told not to travel to them
  • If coming back from a red list country, travellers must undertake a mandatory ten-day hotel quarantine on return
  • They must still take a COVID test before returning, and also need to book the quarantine package, including two tests for days two and eight
  • You cannot return to the UK if you've been in a red list country in the previous 10 days unless you're a British national, an Irish national or have residence rights in the UK
  • Breaking the rules around quarantine could result in a £10,000 fine
  • Countries on the red list include Brazil, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates
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