India, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain to move to the UK Amber list on August 8, 2021

Fully vaccinated passengers from India will no longer be subjected to compulsory 10-day hotel quarantine as the U.K. moved the country from its “red” to “amber” list.

a double decker bus on the street

Under Britain’s traffic light system for international travel, returning from amber list countries means a 10-day quarantine at home. The change, announced by the Department for Transport, comes into effect from 4 a.m. local time on Sunday, August 8, 2021. India was put on the UK red list in April 2021, as the pandemic second wave spread through India.

Under the rules for countries on the amber list, passengers must take a COVID-19 test three days before departure and book in advance for two Covid tests to be taken upon arrival in England as well as complete a passenger locator form on arrival.

On arrival in England, passengers must quarantine at home or in the place they have confirmed as their location for 10 days and take a COVID-19 test on or before day two and on or after day eight. Under-18 and those fully vaccinated in the U.K. are exempt from the home quarantine, as well as those who have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the European Union and the United States.

Also exempt are those “fully vaccinated in the U.K. or under the U.K. vaccine programme overseas; under 18 on the day you arrive in England and resident in the U.K. or in a country with a vaccination programme approved by the U.K. and part of a U.K.-approved vaccine trial”. For now, the vaccines listed under the UK list are as follows:

  • Moderna vaccine
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
  • Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

If you’re travelling to England for less than 10 days, you will need to quarantine for the whole of your stay. You must still book your day 2 and day 8 travel tests, even if you will no longer be in England on the dates of the tests. You only need to take the tests if you’re still in the country on those dates.

The only upside is, you can apply for testing under the Test to Release Scheme, and if on Day 5 your private test indicates you are negative, you can move around freely after ending your quarantine early.

The update of the travel list came alongside an announcement that the cost for solo travellers from destinations still on the red list staying at a quarantine hotel will go up from August 12, from GBP 1,750 to GBP 2,285. The charge for an additional adult sharing a room will increase from GBP 650 to GBP 1,430.

According to the government, this is to “better reflect the increased costs involved”. Meanwhile, seven countries are moving to the green list – Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway – and France has been moved off the “amber watchlist”.

For countries on the green list, people will not have to quarantine when returning from these nations, regardless of their vaccination status, although they will have to take a pre-departure test and another one two days after arrival.

Four countries will be put on the red list: Mexico, Georgia, La Reunion and Mayotte.

UK Visit visas are now going to be valid, as per a notification from the UK High Commission in India.


UK has moved India, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain from the Red list to the Amber list and the new classification will go live on August 8, 2021 4 AM UK time onwards. Entering the UK after will mean that a home quarantine will suffice and one will not have to undergo Institutional Quarantine thereon.

What do you make of the new notification on travel to the UK from India/Middle East?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Ajay, do you know if short stay visit visa holders (Indian citizens) are permitted entry or only British Citizens, British long term residents and students are permitted entry? I was unable to find this info elsewhere. Your inputs will be greatly appreciated.

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