As we slowly return to travel, the UK Government have put in place a traffic light system. Red, Amber and Green. Green for go…..or is it?

What the Traffic Lights Mean

There has been some confusion as to just what the traffic lights mean. In simple terms:

  1. Red List – you should not travel  to countries or territories on the red list.
  2. Amber List – you can only undertake essential travel only.
  3. Green – you can travel for both essential and non-essential travel.
Green for Go

Green for Go….or is it?

Green for Go…. 

Or is it? Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Although, we can travel to Green List destinations, there are still restrictions.

Firstly, the majority of the countries on the list still have their borders closed. For example, Australia and New Zealand.  Secondly, the Green List countries that are allowing tourists, namely Portugal, there are still procedures. You still need to complete COVID Tests. Also, you need to complete the Passenger Locator Forms.

Why Covid Tests?

Regardless of whether you have are fully vaccinated against Covid, the tests are still compulsory. Although, the vaccine roll out in the UK is over half way, other countries are not as far forward with theirs. The vaccine gives protection. It does not stop you from catching it. Therefore, testing is in place to keep you and others safe.

Green for Go

Covid Tests are Compulsory

PCR or Lateral Flow?

What sort of test you need will depend on the country you are visiting. Portugal, for example, requires you to take a PCR test 72 hours before travel. You will need to show a negative Covid Test result at check in. If not, you will be denied boarding.

To return to the UK, wherever you are in the world, you will need to take a lateral flow test on the day of departure. The results are emailed within 30 minutes.

If you have returned from Green List country, a PCR test must be taken on day 2 after arrival. Returning from an Amber List country, then a PCR test must be taken on Day 2 then on Day 8. If you have been to a Red List country then 10 day hotel quarantine package is compulsory as well as the Covid Day 2 and Day 8 test.

Green for GO

Travel Safely

How to Get Tested

Eton Travel recommend pre-purchasing a PCR testing pack. We recommend Randox. There are three packs available:

  • Green Travel Pack
  • Amber Travel Pack
  • Red Travel Pack

Packs include the correct number of PCR tests for the destination. If you are travelling to a country on the Amber list for example, you would purchase an Amber Travel Pack.

You must take a Lateral Flow test at a recognised centre. For peace of mind, we recommend Qred. You can book the return lateral flow test before you travel. Furthermore, you will take the test with a health advisor via a video call. Results will be emailed within 30 minutes.

Green for Go

Lateral Flow Tests by Video Call

Passenger Locator Forms

Many countries require these now. In the event that someone has tested positive for Covid, they know how to trace you. They are an international version of the track and trace system. Passenger Locator Forms should be filled in no less than 48 hours before travel. There is also one for the UK. You must fill this in before returning.


As with anything new, this new way of travel can seem be daunting. However, the easiest way to remember when and what to do is by following a timeline:

  • 72 hours before departure – undertake the PCR test (Red, Amber, Green)
  • 48 hours before departure – complete the Passenger Locator Form for the destination
  • 48 hours prior to flying back to the UK complete the UK Passenger Locator form
  • On the day of flying back to the UK complete a Lateral Flow Test
  • Day 2 of being back in the UK complete your first COVID PCR test (Green)
  • Day 8 of being back in the UK complete your second COVID PCR test (Amber/Red)

If you are travelling to a Red destination, ensure you have booked the hotel quarantine at the same time as booking your flights.

Set Yourself a Timeline

Green for Go….with Eton Travel

There has never been a better time to book your holiday with Eton Travel. We can:

  • Do all the hard work so you can sit back and look forward to your holiday
  • Ensure your travel documentation is correct
  • Keep you updated if anything changes
  • Remind you when a step needs actioning
  • Help you fill out the forms
  • Help you apply for the packs.

PLUS book your holiday with us and purchase your PCR travel packs for HALF PRICE!!!! 

Contact the team at Eton Travel today!


Real Time

Finally, if you would like to see how these processes work in real time, we will be sharing posts from our travel partners Kirker Holidays later this week. Two of the team will be visiting Oporto and Lisbon. See our Facebook page for updates.

Let’s Go!