Scotland green list: which countries are on green travel list after update - and is it different to rest of UK?

The UK Government has announced that Portugal will be moved to the amber list from next Tuesday – but does the change apply in Scotland?

Portugal will now be removed from Scotland's green list of countries (Shutterstock)

Portugal will be removed from the travel green list following the latest update on international holidays, the UK Government has announced.

The popular tourist hotspot – as well as the islands of Madeira and the Azores – will be moved to the amber list from 4am next Tuesday (8 June).

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Now, people returning from Portugal will be required to self-isolate at home for 10 days.

The same change applies in Scotland, with the government announcing the move following concerns over the spread of the Delta variant first identified in India.

A traffic light system mirroring the one introduced in England was implemented in May to allow Scots to take sunny breaks in foreign countries.

There is a “green”, “amber” and “red list” of destinations depending on the number of coronavirus cases, the spread of variants of concern and the rollout of vaccines in each place.

So, what is the green list, which countries are on it - and is the list different to the rest of the UK?

Here is everything you need to know.

What is the green list?

Under the traffic light system, holidays abroad are now permitted from Scotland.

The green list includes the lowest restrictions for passengers coming back to the country from an international destination.

Those travelling to destinations on the green list will not need to quarantine on their return to Scotland.

However, they will need to take a PCR test on or before day two of arrival into the country.

They will also need to take a pre-departure test, as well as filling out a passenger locator form.

How is it different from the red and amber lists?

Countries on the red list have been identified as “acute risk”, and those returning from them will need to stay in a government-approved isolation hotel for 10 days.

Meanwhile, the majority of countries have been placed on the amber list. This entails self-isolating at home for 10 days if you come back to Scotland from any of those destinations.

A PCR test must be taken on day two and day eight of return to Scotland from countries on both lists.

The three lists are decided based on the percentage of a country’s population that have been vaccinated, the rate of infection, whether there are variants of concern and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

Which countries are on the green list?

There will be eleven countries on Scotland’s green list, when Portugal is removed.

The Scottish Government cited “worrying increases in test positivity in the country” for the change.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) recommended the step was taken due to evidence of increased cases of the Delta variant being spread among people in Portugal.

No other countries have been added to the green list.

The updated list includes: Israel, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Iceland, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands, St Helena, Tristan de Cunha and Ascension Island.

Popular tourist destinations, such as Spain, France, Greece and Turkey, are not on the list.

The First Minister previously warned that she would be “highly cautious” when it comes to adding countries to the green list due to the risk of importing new variants of Covid.

She also urged Scots to “think seriously” about whether they really need to go abroad this summer.

It is important to note that not all the green list countries are currently open to UK tourists.

Some countries may have quarantine measures in place, too, and each country will have different rules which you should check before you book.

Is it different from the UK Government’s list?

At the moment, the lists are the same and any decisions are being taken up on a four-nation basis based on what the JBC recommends.

This means that Scotland’s traffic light lists are currently identical to the ones for England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Ms Sturgeon said when announcing the traffic light system in May that a “consistent four nations position” had been taken on international travel, thanks to the UK Government arriving at cautious decisions when announcing plans for foreign holidays to go ahead this year.

But she added that Scotland’s list was subject to review based on the country’s specific needs.

This means that the two lists may still differ if a country is added or removed by one government and not the other.