Competition: Win a £25 Not On The High Street Gift Voucher on


Holiday abroad: Where can I go?

It can be difficult to determine which places you can travel to and which visa to apply for. Here we offer some key information.

The global travel industry seems more akin to a madhouse these days. Borders closing, reopening and then closing again, rules being relaxed and then tightened again, and more lockdowns than you can count. It's a hassle to even figure out where you can go to begin with. Here, we'll try to provide some clarity on the border and visa policies of some of the more popular holiday destinations for Brits.

Listen to the government

The best way to find out which places are (relatively) safe to travel to is of course following the guidelines of the government. In the UK, destinations are divided into red, amber and green categories, based on how serious the COVID-19 outbreak is in that country. Red means that the country is dealing with serious outbreaks on a regular basis, and that travelling to these countries is highly discouraged. Note the keyword “discouraged”. It's not forbidden, so in theory you can travel to any red list country (provided of course they allow British travellers to enter), but be prepared to deal with a lot of very strict rules on your return to the UK. These include multiple COVID-19 tests and mandatory quarantine, with heavy fines if these rules are not followed.

With that said, let's have a look at some of the countries the government deems as low-risk for COVID-19 infection.


Australia has been in the news often for its strict lockdown rules. The country has very low daily infections, and as such is deemed a very low-risk country for COVID-19 infection. This means that in theory, you can travel to Australia without needing to quarantine on your return. However, Australia itself does not welcome foreign tourists at this time, regardless of the British government's travel advice. There are reports of visa for Australia being issued, but even if approved, Australia visa cannot be used to travel to the country.

The same applies to neighbouring New Zealand. New Zealand has been on the green travel list since 2020, but the country does not allow foreign tourists to enter. Recently, prime minister Ardern announced that this travel ban would last until the end of the year.

The European Union

When it comes to the European Union, things get a little tricky. The European Union does not have a single, general travel advice. Instead, all the countries have individual listings. For instance, most European countries are on the amber travel list, which means there is a risk of infection, and quarantine is mandatory when returning to the UK if not fully vaccinated. However, countries like Finland and Denmark are on the green list. Always check in advance which designation your destination EU country has.

The United States

The USA has always been one of the most popular tourist destinations for Brits, in large part due to our shared history. While travelling from the USA to the UK is permitted by the British government, the reverse is currently not possible. The administration of former president Donald Trump implemented a travel ban for people from both the EU and the UK, back in 2020. This travel ban is still in place, despite the fact that many countries welcome US tourists. As such, travel to the USA is not possible for UK citizens.


And finally there is some good news. While the USA remains closed, its northern neighbour Canada has decided to open its borders to international travellers. However, this only applies to fully vaccinated tourists. If you are not fully vaccinated, travelling to Canada is not possible. But since vaccinations in the UK have been going at breakneck speeds, by now a large part of the population is fully vaccinated. And they can now go on holiday to Canada!

Keep in mind that you need several documents to be allowed to enter Canada: proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test, and an eTA Canada. These are all fairly easy to obtain. The eTA Canada, for example, is a substitute to the visa that can be used by British citizens. Unlike the visa, an eTA is applied for online (so no visit to the embassy!).

The NHS offers a COVID Pass, which states all your vaccination details and test results. These also come in digital format.