UK’s traffic light Covid travel rules scrapped as of today as rules simplified

The UK's traffic light Covid travel rules have been scrapped as of today (Monday 4 October).

This means that the green and amber lists are no more.

Instead, locations are now categorised as either on the red list or not.

The previous green and amber lists have now essentially been merged.

Fully vaccinated residents – and unvaccinated under 18s – travelling from these countries can now enter the UK without needing to complete a pre-departure lateral flow test. They also won't have to take an day-eight post-arrival PCR test costing around £65, or self-isolate at home.

However, they still have to buy and complete a PCR test two days after arrival back in the UK.

Eligible fully vaccinated people travelling to England will be able to use a cheaper lateral flow test instead from later in October, but a specific date hasn't yet been revealed.

People that aren't fully vaccinated are required to take pre-departure test and a PCR test on days two and eight after they return, and must self-isolate for 10 days at home.

The number of countries on the red list is also expected to be cut to nine from 54 later this week week.

Destinations such as Brazil, Mexico and South Africa likely are likely be opened up to quarantine-free travel, which will be good news for holidaymakers.

People arriving from a red list destination will still be required to spend 11 nights at a quarantine hotel costing £2,285 for solo travellers.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We are accelerating towards a future where travel continues to reopen safely and remains open for good, and today's rule changes are good news for families, businesses and the travel sector.

"Our priority remains to protect public health but, with more than eight in 10 people now fully vaccinated, we are able to take these steps to lower the cost of testing and help the sector to continue in its recovery."

It's hoped the changes will help to boost to the travel sector, which has been badly hit by the travel restrictions.

Tim Alderslade – chief executive of Airlines UK, a trade body representing UK carriers – said: "Things are moving in the right direction and the removal of these restrictions will make it easier and cheaper for people to travel.

"We've seen a good response to the announcement in terms of bookings and, given current trends, we would hope to see more countries come off the red list and further mutual recognition of vaccine status.

"There is still much to do though. This is not job done, and ministers need to keep in mind that we remain an outlier on arrivals testing for vaccinated passengers.

"In the short-term the removal of PCR testing by the October half-term week is critical, and we look forward to clarity on the start date for this as soon as possible."

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