Petition Add Poland to the green list for international travel
COVID-19 cases in Poland are lower than for many other countries, but people arriving in England from Poland still have to go for quarantine for 10 days. Please move Poland on green list
This response was given on 28 July 2021
Ministerial decisions on country allocations to the traffic light system are informed by Joint Biosecurity Centre risk assessments and wider public health factors, and are reviewed every three weeks.
Read the response in full
On 17 May 2021, the Government introduced the traffic light system to provide a framework for a safe and sustainable return to international travel. The traffic light system categorises countries and territories based on risk to protect public health and the vaccine rollout from variants of COVID-19. The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) produces risk assessments of countries and territories. Decisions on country allocation to the traffic light system and associated border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account the JBC risk assessments, alongside wider public health factors.
Key factors in the JBC risk assessment of each country and territory include:
• genomic surveillance capability
• COVID-19 transmission risk
• Variant of Concern transmission risk
As a precautionary approach, countries and territories are assumed to be amber unless there is specific evidence to suggest they are:
• green – presenting (with confidence) a low public health risk to the UK from all COVID-19 strains
• red – presenting a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern (VOC), known high-risk variants under investigation (VUI) or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of COVID-19
A summary of the JBC methodology is published on gov.uk, alongside key data that supports Ministers' decisions. The summary of the JBC methodology is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-risk-assessment-methodology-to-inform-international-travel-traffic-light-system and the data is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/data-informing-international-travel-risk-assessments.
Country allocations to the traffic light system are reviewed every three weeks, unless concerning evidence means we need to act faster to protect public health. Poland is currently on the amber list.
Since Monday 19 July, passengers returning to England from amber list countries (not including France) who have been fully vaccinated with an NHS administered vaccine in the UK (plus 14 days), or are on a formally approved UK vaccine clinical trial, no longer need to quarantine. Passengers will need to provide proof of their vaccination status to carriers in advance of travel and continue to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test and day 2 test. Children under the age of 18 returning to England from amber list countries are also exempt from quarantine rules. The guidance that people should not travel to amber countries has also been removed.
The government is taking a phased approach to amending requirements and is already exploring plans to remove quarantine for vaccinated non-UK residents arriving from amber countries later this summer where it is safe to do so. In the meantime, the Test to Release scheme remains an option for travelers returning from amber countries to shorten their quarantine period, and being released early if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result.
Department for Transport
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