Published on : Thursday, October 7, 2021
The UK has dropped the advice against travel to 32 countries issued by the Foreign Office and has decided to allow holidays in places like Fiji, Malaysia and. It has also been announced that insurance firms will now cover travel to the countries and restrictions from more destinations will be lifted in the next few days.
However, the government can still re-implement the rules “exceptional circumstances”, for example if there is a domestic outbreak of COVID. Countries on the red list will continue have a warning against all but essential travel.
As per the latest rules, pre-arrival tests for vaccinated Brits have been ditched and the government has decided to scrap the traffic light system for a simpler go and no-go list. It sees the current amber and green lists merge into one COVID safe list and a COVID unsafe list, where red list rules remain.
It is expected the government will scrap the number of countries on the red list over the coming weeks. Turkey, Egypt, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Kenya were struck off the red list last month. Egypt and Turkey have seen booming demand from Brits who have been unable to visit the countries for months.
Meanwhile, pre-arrival testing which had to be a lateral flow or PCR test taken before returning to the UK is no longer required. Holidaymakers will just need a day two PCR only COVID test. The day two PCR test requirement will then be swapped for a simpler lateral flow test later this month.
Unvaccinated Brits will still need to provide a pre-arrival lateral flow test, as well as a day two and day 8 PCR test. Last month, authorities warned that the freedoms could be taken back if a mutant variant threatens the COVID road to recovery.
An official spokesperson for Boris Johnson said that officials are aware that the pandemic is still ongoing and there is always a chance of unexpected challenges such as an even more transmissible or more deadly variant emerging. However it was mentioned that because of the success of the vaccine programme, it is enabling the government to move steadily and remove restrictions as the country saw while coming out of Step 4.