Travel update: UK international traffic light system simplified

Published on : Saturday, September 18, 2021

The United Kingdom (UK) international travel traffic light system is being simplified in England with a single red list, as part of an overhaul of the rules from 4 October. This will help the UK travellers to travel around the world, which is a latest move taken by the government to reboots international travels.

The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also said eight countries would be taken off the red list from Wednesday. This means people returning from places such as Turkey will no longer have to stay in hotel quarantine.

And PCR tests will no longer be required for fully vaccinated travellers returning to England.

Under the new testing regime, the people who have had both jabs will not need to take a pre-departure test before leaving any country not on the red list.

And Mr Shapps said later in October, they would be able to replace the day two PCR test with a cheaper, rapid lateral flow test.

While travel is a devolved matter, the Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish governments have often followed the UK government’s rules during the pandemic. Wales said it would follow England in removing Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya from the red list. It would “carefully consider” the proposed changes on testing but said they are “not without risk”.

Scotland said it would simplify its traffic light system but ruled out removing the requirement for PCR tests, due to “significant concerns at the impact on public health”. The transport secretary said the new travel rules would remain in place “at least until the new year”.

He said that the purpose is to make it easier to travel without the bureaucracy, without so many tests, and with a greater level of certainty now that they have got so many people vaccinated. The travel industry said the announcement was a step towards helping tourism recover.

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