The new green list destinations: where can I go on holiday?

The new green list destinations: where can I go on holiday?

From October 4th, the UK’s Green List destinations are set to grow! In fact, the traffic light system is going to be abandoned altogether, leaving only a red list. Travel to the ‘rest of the world’ as it has been dubbed, will enjoy simplified testing restrictions. These simplified restrictions will apply to fully vaccinated travellers only. As long as you travel to one of the ‘rest of the world’ countries, the pre-departure test for returning to the UK will be dropped. Furthermore, transport secretary Grant Shapps has said that the day 2 PCR tests would be swapped for lateral flows before the end of October. You can check the UK government website for further details.

Of course, all of this new information can seem confusing. Plus, it is not yet clear whether Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will follow England’s lead with the softening on return testing. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that travel is finally becoming simpler and it’s the perfect time to plan your next getaway. If you need some inspiration, read on to discover our recommended new Green List destinations that are open to tourists. You’ll also find information on these country’s entry requirements (for double-vaccinated travellers only) and finally answer the question: ‘where can I go on holiday?’. Be sure to check local restrictions in your destination country before you travel.

Information updated: 22nd September 2021.

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green list destinations: Turkey

Recently removed from the Red List, Turkey is finally open for British tourists again! Although the summer season is coming to end, there’s never a bad time to visit Turkey. As well as fine beaches, Turkey boasts captivating historic sights and, of course, the bustling city of Istanbul. Part European, part Asian, there’s plenty of cultural experiences to discover here. Whether you dream of getting lost in the bazaars of Istanbul or dream of watching the sunrise over Cappadocia, Turkey will enjoy the simplified restrictions starting October 4th.

Entry requirements: 

A negative PCR test result, taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. You’ll also need to fill out a health registration form. These rules apply to double-jabbed travellers only.  More details here.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: new green list destinations

The ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, Sri Lanka is finally open for tourists. Home to idyllic beaches, verdant tea plantations, national parks and vibrant culture, Sri Lanka is a firm favourite for British travellers. Furthermore, Sri Lanka is a great choice for some winter sun. One of the best places on earth to see elephants in the wild, Sri Lanka does have a few tricky entry requirements to get your head around, but these shouldn’t affect your travel plans.

Entry requirements: 

If you are fully vaccinated: a negative PCR test result, taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. You will also need to take a PCR test on arrival and wait for your result for up to 48 hours in a ‘safe hotel’. You can check the details of this procedure here.



Horray! Paradise is open again! The blissful shores of the Maldives are a honeymoon favourite, and you can’t deny the appeal of this Indian Ocean archipelago. An ideal place to enjoy some winter sun, the Maldives is famed for its luxury all-inclusive resorts and rich marine life. Whether you’re here for scuba diving or sunbathing, the Maldives is sure to be winter 2021-22’s hottest travel destination!

Entry requirements: 

Assuming you’re fully vaccinated, you will have to take a PCR test within 96 hours before departure, and fill in a health declaration form.  For more details, click here.


Switzerland: green list destinations

A land of spectacular scenery, skiing and glamorous St. Mortiz, Switzerland is the place to be seen during the winter months. Home to beautiful lakes, chocolate-box alpine towns and pristine slopes, Switzerland is a paradise for lovers of the great outdoors. From dynamic Zurich to charming Zermatt, in the shadow of the Matterhorn, this tiny country offers an abundance of fascinating sights and breathtaking landscapes.

Entry requirements: 

Fully vaccinated travellers don’t need to take any tests to travel to Switzerland but must show original proof of their vaccination status. Furthermore, an entry form must be completed before arrival. More details can be found here. 


Spain: green list travel

The nation’s favourite holiday destination, travelling to Spain is set to be simplified. Although the summer season is over, Spain’s dynamic cities are great destinations at any time of year. Furthermore, the Canary Islands are known for their pleasant winter sunshine. Whether you want to go shopping in Madrid, sightseeing in Seville or enjoy the nightlife of Barcelona, you can’t go wrong with a holiday to Spain.

Entry requirements: 

There are no testing requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers to Spain (assuming you had your last jab at least 14 days before). You will need to complete a Spanish Health Control Form.


Portugal: where can I go on holiday?

Portugal had a tough time under the traffic light system. First, it was green, then amber, but now it’s been grouped into the simplified ‘rest of the world’ green list destinations! Home to the rugged beaches of the Algarve and the wine region of the Duoro Valley, Portugal is more than a beach destination. In fact, the vibrant cities of Lisbon, Porto or Sintra are brilliant places to explore in their own right. On the other hand, the island of Madeira and the Azores archipelago are other options where you can experience the diversity of Portugal.

Entry requirements: 

You’ll avoid quarantine if you are fully vaccinated, but you will still need to show proof of a negative Covid test from 48–72 hours before boarding. More details can be found here.


Egypt: open travel destinations

After more than 18 months without travel, there’s never been a better time to start ticking off those bucket list sights. The Great Pyramids of Giza are the perfect place to start! Egypt is famed for its ancient sites and bustling cities. On the other hand, the Red Sea resorts of Hurghada or Sharm El-Sheikh are a great choice for families. Furthermore, a cruise on the River Nile is one of the best ways to discover the most famous sights in the country. If that wasn’t enough, the world-famous Cairo Museum is set to reopen in 2021!

Entry requirements: 

A negative PCR test result is required (72 hours) and you’ll also need to fill out a health form. For more details, check the information here.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai: green list destinations

Another favourite of British travellers, you can’t beat the elegant architecture and glamorous shopping malls of Dubai. With long stretches of pristine coastline and an array of luxury hotels, Dubai is a great choice for a city getaway. Home to the tallest building in the world, everything in Dubai is on a bigger, better scale. Offering a unique mix of cultures, be sure to explore the charms of the Old Town and Dubai Creek area.

Entry requirements: 

Each Emirate has different entry requirements. For Dubai, all you need to do is present a negative result from a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure and download the Covid-19 DXB app. Be aware that you could be subject to random on the spot testing on arrival.


Greece: green list destinations

Nothing beats the gorgeous Greek islands. Whether you opt for upmarket Santorini or laid back Crete, this holiday favourite is back on our travel radars. Of course, we can’t forget the immense cultural treasures of the mainland. Bustling Athens, home to the Acropolis, and mysterious Delphi are slowly filling up with tourists once more. The perfect destination to combine sightseeing and sunbathing, Greece relies heavily on tourism and can’t wait to welcome back holidaymakers.

Entry requirements: 

If you’re fully vaccinated no tests are required to enter Greece. On the other hand, a negative test result or proof of recovery from Covid will suffice if you haven’t been jabbed. Everyone is required to fill in a passenger locator form. Check the latest travel advice for more details.

Wherever you choose to jet off to next, be sure to check local restrictions. Furthermore, keep in mind that the status of green list destinations is subject to change at short notice.

Ready to book your next getaway? Explore our latest trips on our official website: Exoticca – your online travel agency.

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