Fully-vaccinated travellers from the EU and the USA are now able to enter the UK without quarantining.
The government announced the new scheme – which came into effect at 4 am this morning – last week, saying it could help reunite friends and family who live abroad.
People coming from France are still required to quarantine, as France falls under the “amber plus” category.
Since July 19, those completely vaccinated in the UK were exempt from isolation when arriving from amber list countries, while all other travellers were required to quarantine for ten days even if they had been double-jabbed in another country.
People coming into the UK still have to take a test prior to their arrival, either a lateral flow or PCR test, and a PCR test on their second day in the country.
The travel industry has welcomed the move but is calling for more countries to be added to the green list. Airline bosses wrote to transport secretary Grant Shapps saying it should “increasingly become a default”.
They warned that the UK airline industry is behind its European counterparts, as travel bookings are at 16 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, compared to 60 per cent in Germany and 48 per cent in France.
Plans for a new so-called amber watchlist of countries at risk of moving to the red list on short notice are being discussed by ministers. A green watchlist signalling the countries at risk of moving to the amber list is already in place. Those returning from red list countries are required to pay £1,750 to quarantine in a hotel for ten days.
Tory backbenchers have criticised the plans to warn travellers against visiting popular holiday destinations such as Spain, Greece and Italy. Ministers have warned an amber watchlist will devastate the travel industry.
Under the new plans, Spain would be put on the new list. This could result in the up to a million British tourists holidaying there rushing home, with bookings also falling.
“The government has used the vaccine dividend to make some positive strides in the last few weeks, making it easier for those travelling in and out of the UK,” said Huw Merriman, Tory chairman of the Commons transport committee.
“In my view, we don’t need any more uncertainty, complexity, or anxiety for passengers, or this beleaguered sector. It just needs clarity. I would urge the government not to do anything with it,” he told BBC Radio 4.
The decision to introduce an amber watchlist was meant to be signed off on Thursday but has been delayed due to a government split.