Green list, amber list and red list countries: Government set to announce major shake-up of travel rules tomorrow, here's what could be announced

An overhaul of the rules for international travel is expected to be announced on Friday, according to reports.

By Matthew Mohan-Hickson
Thursday, 16th September 2021, 4:05 pm
Changes to the travel rules set to be announced tomorrow. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Changes to the travel rules set to be announced tomorrow. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

According to the PA news agency, it has been reported that the green and amber lists will be merged to form one category of low-risk countries, while the number of destinations on the red list will be reduced.

There is also speculation that fully vaccinated arrivals will no longer need to take a pre-departure lateral flow test or a post-arrival PCR test.

This would save travellers around £100 per trip.

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Currently, travellers who have not had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine must take one PCR test and are not required to self-isolate after arriving from a green list destination.

According to reports, they could be required to quarantine at home and be required to take two tests when arriving from a low-risk location under the new system.

The changes would come into force ahead of the October half-term break.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ expected announcement on Friday will only apply to England, but recently the devolved administrations have implemented rule changes for travel announced in Westminster.

It is anticipated that people arriving from red list countries will continue to be required to spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel, at a cost of £2,285 for solo travellers.

There are currently 62 countries on that list, but this is expected to be reduced.

Paul Charles, chief executives of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said earlier this week that 24 countries ‘should be taken off’, including Pakistan, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, Argentina and Chile.

He added that he would be ‘very surprised’ if Turkey is removed due to “worsening” coronavirus data.

But coronavirus data analyst Tim White said: ‘With Grant Shapps and the travel lottery, no-one can be sure. But the data firmly support Turkey being removed as it has no threat of variants and a lot of genomic sequencing.’

The travel sector has been desperate for the testing and quarantine rules for international travel to be relaxed.

Heathrow said this week it has gone from being Europe’s busiest airport in 2019 to number 10 on the list, behind rivals in cities such as Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt.

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