The Department of Transportation (DfT) is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday (September 15) or Thursday (September 16) for those returning to England. While this has yet to be officially confirmed, the UK government has so far updated its traffic light system every three weeks – usually on a Wednesday or Thursday, with changes usually going into effect the following Sunday or Monday.
This would mean that all changes are expected to take effect on September 19 or 20. The Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh Governments can set their own rules, but to this day they have kept the same traffic light list as in England.
We last had an announcement on Thursday, August 26th, with the changes, according to which Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Azores would be added to the green list and come into effect on Monday, August 30th, at 4 a.m. . Other changes announced at the same time resulted in Montenegro and Thailand being moved from the yellow to the red list.
The government is also expected to review the future of the traffic light system in general before October 1st. At this point in time, it is unclear what can happen if the DfT refuses to confirm or deny reported speculations. A government spokesman would just tell us, “Decisions about our traffic light system are regularly reviewed and informed by the latest risk assessment from the Joint Biosecurity Center and broader public health factors.”
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The targets currently on the red, yellow, and green lists
Countries and territories are currently classified into one of three categories, as described below. These categories determine the actions you will need to take when you return to the UK. The government says their traffic light lists are based on factors such as the percentage of the country’s vaccinated population, the infection rate, the prevalence of worrying variants, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data.
See the current rules in the table below.