Thursday, 7 October 2021

England's red list will reduce to just 7 countries from 11th October.

Today the UK government has confirmed that from 04:00 on Monday 11th October, 47 countries and
territories will be removed from its red list allowing more people to travel abroad and return from those countries without having to quarantine in special hotels.

The government said that continued progress on vaccination both at home and around the world means it can confidently reduce the size of the red list to focus on countries that pose the highest risk as determined by UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) assessment.

The change will allow fully vaccinated people to travel freely with just a day 2 test, however, other passengers who are not fully vaccinated with UK recognised vaccines, from a non-red destination must still take a pre-departure test, a day 2 and day 8 test and complete 10 days self-isolation. 

Also announced today, from 4am Monday 11 October, eligible travellers vaccinated in over 37 new countries and territories including Brazil, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey, will also be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated UK residents, so long as they have not visited a red list country or territory in the 10 days before arriving in England.

The latest travel update builds on the announcement from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office earlier this week that it has lifted advice against all but essential travel for over 30 countries and territories. More advisories will be removed as countries and territories come off the red list, making it easier for people to be covered by insurance when travelling to a wider list of destinations.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:  "With half-term and winter sun around the corner, we’re making it easier for families and loved ones to reunite, by significantly cutting the number of destinations on the red list, thanks in part to the increased vaccination efforts around the globe.

Restoring people’s confidence in travel is key to rebuilding our economy and levelling up this country. With less restrictions and more people travelling, we can all continue to move safely forward together along our pathway to recovery."

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said  "Our robust border measures have helped protect the phenomenal progress of our vaccination programme, and it is because of this success both here and around the world that we can safely open up travel further and we can visit friends and family abroad.

We’re now making it easier and cheaper for people to travel by allowing fully vaccinated travellers from non-red list countries to use lateral flow tests on day 2 of arrival, as long as they provide proof of use."

The seven destinations remaining on the red list are:

Dominican Republic
The news has been welcomed by travel agents, airlines and travel commentators, including British Airways which has announced a raft of new flights will be added to its schedule in the coming days and weeks.  BA is set to ramp up services to South Africa, with daily services to Johannesburg expected by mid-December and expects to restart services to Cape Town, offering three flights a week in November, before moving to a double daily service during December.  Elsewhere the carrier says it will add Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires before Christmas.
Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: "It finally feels like we are seeing light at the end of a very long tunnel. Britain will benefit from this significant reduction in red list countries, and now it’s time to turn our attention to eradicating testing for fully vaccinated travellers to ensure we don’t lose our place on the global stage."


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