Grant Shapps discusses introduction of 'simpler' travel system
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Updates to the UK travel lists will see greater freedom for fully vaccinated travellers. However, there will still be a red list – although it’s shrinking. What countries are still off-limits for Brits?
The UK’s traffic light system is set for an overhaul, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on September 17, 2021.
A simplified version of the traffic light system will be brought into force on October 4, 2021.
The new system will have just two categories: the red list, and the rest of the world.
Fully-vaccinated travellers won’t have to take a PCR test before returning to the UK.
Mr Shapps said: “Today’s changes mean a simpler, more straightforward system. One with less testing and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones or conduct business around the world while providing a boost for the travel industry.
“Public health has always been at the heart of our international travel policy and with more than 8 in 10 adults vaccinated in the UK, we are now able to introduce a proportionate updated structure that reflects the new landscape.”
In addition to the updated travel lists, the Government is proposing changing the required PCR test two days after entering the UK, to a cheaper lateral flow test for fully-vaccinated travellers.
The Department for Transport says they are aiming to have this in place in time for October half-term holidays.
However, before the new system comes into effect, eight destinations are being taken off the red list.
In the final update to the traffic light system as we know it, at 4am on Wednesday, September 22: Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya will be removed from the red list.
These countries will be moved to the amber list, and at the moment no new countries have been added to the red list.
This will leave 54 countries on the red list as of September 22.
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What countries are staying on the red list?
Mr Shapps has said red list countries are “those which should not be visited except in the most extreme of circumstances.”
After returning to the UK from a red list country, travellers will have to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days.
As of September 22, 2021, these 54 countries and territories will be on the red list:
Congo (Democratic Republic)
Trinidad and Tobago
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