Dear Colleagues,

Last evening (4 August) the list of red, amber and green list countries for entering England was updated. It is being widely reported that these changes will also be adopted by Scotland and Northern Ireland, although at the time of writing the Scottish list has yet to be updated. Wales has announced that it will ‘consider the changes by the UK government’ and then make a decision. The list for Wales has therefore also not been updated.

Schools must note that, as well as the ‘headline news’ that France has been added to the full amber list, a number of countries have been moved to the green list and others, including Mexico, to the red list. Helpfully some countries through which boarders might transit have now been moved from red to amber. The announcement is as follows:

From 4am, Sunday 8 August, the fully vaccinated amber rules will apply to France. At the same time, Austria, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia will move to green list. Bahrain, India, Qatar and United Arab Emirates will move to amber list. Georgia, Mayotte, Mexico and Reunion will move to red list.

The full list is available here.

Schools must note that all arrivals, including from green list countries must complete a test within 72 hours before departure, must complete the passenger locator form and must complete a further test from an approved provider on Day 2. The link above contains the relevant information.

In answer to queries received following our England update earlier this week, in which DfE confirmed that the amber list quarantine exemption does apply to boarders, but the exemption DOES NOT apply to anyone who has reached their 18th birthday. Unless they are double vaccinated in the UK, one of the approved European countries, or the US, they will need to quarantine on arrival, although this does not have to be in school.

Furthermore, clarification has also been received that under almost all circumstances boarders are ‘ordinarily resident’ and this includes new boarders. 

Schools in Scotland will have received updates from SCIS, and for those in Wales BSA has been working with WISC to gain urgent clarification from both the Welsh government and UK government, particularly around the rules for boarders from red-list countries, who cannot currently travel to Wales. Further updates will be issued as soon as we have them.

Given the speed and frequency of changes, BSA urges all members to continue to plan for all contingencies, as the situation will doubtless change again before boarders return.

Best wishes,

The BSA Team