We have big breaking news this evening from the UK Department of Transport and Her Majesties Government – It seems the red list is having a major haircut, with it being reduced to seven countries in total.
In addition, the UK will recognise proof of vaccination will be recognised from 37 new countries and territories.
The red list will comprise of
- Dominican Republic
These counties will remain on the red list, with passengers required to pre-test before departure, book a quarantine hotel, complete a passenger locator form, stay in a quarantine hotel and have tests on Days 2 and 8 after arrival.
The other 47 countries that are coming off the red list to England will no longer be required to enter hotel quarantine.
This goes into effect from 4 am on Monday 11 October.
Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under 18s returning from countries and territories, not on the red list, can do so with just a day 2 test.
Other passengers who are not fully vaccinated with an authorised vaccine returning 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 (with the option of Test to Release on day 5).
More Countries Welcome
In addition, from 4 am on 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 full list is at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countries-with-approved-covid-19-vaccination-programmes-and-proof-of-vaccination. If you’re planning to come to the UK, I’d strongly advise you to check if your country is on it, and what vaccines are accepted.
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 traveling, 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.
Lateral Flow Testing for Day 2 tests coming soon
One of the biggest costs when returning to the United Kingdom is the cost of a PCR test. This will change in late October.
The government is planning to allow eligible fully vaccinated passengers (including under 18s) returning from “a rest of world country” will have the option to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, followed by a free PCR test if positive, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England.
The government can also confirm passengers taking postal tests will be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test as a minimum requirement to verify the test result.
The government has the ambition to ensure this is in place for people returning from half-term breaks by the end of the month. Of course – no formal date has been set yet.
For a lot of people, it will mean that they are free to travel to the United Kingdom, at last, to reconnect – be it for business, for family, for tourism or for love.
It’s a bold move taking 47 countries off the list – and it will be interesting to watch which countries entries come in from.
Just remember with a move like this, it is never reciprocal. If you’re travelling abroad, you will need to ensure that you are able to enter your destination and meet the entry requirements (be they forms, testing or quarantine) as needed.
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