By 22nd September, eight nations will be removed from the red list, and the conditions for foreign travel to England will alter on 4th October 2021.
In light of the success of the UK’s domestic vaccine deployment, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps proposed a streamlined scheme for international travel yesterday (17th September 2021), giving better predictability for business and passengers.
From Monday, 4th October at 4 a.m., the current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories, which will remain critical in protecting public health, as well as simpler travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world.
In addition, from Monday, 4th October at 4 a.m., eligible fully vaccinated travelers will no longer need to take a PDT while traveling to England.
From the end of October, qualified fully vaccinated travelers and those with an approved vaccine from a small number of non-red countries will be allowed to substitute a cheaper lateral flow test for their day 2 test, lowering the cost of tests upon arrival in England. The government hopes to put it in place by the end of October, in time for people to return from half-term breaks.
Anyone who tests positive will be required to extract and conduct a confirmatory PCR test, which will be genomically sequenced to assist identify novel variations, at no additional cost to the traveler.
Pre-departure tests, day 2 and day 8 PCR tests will be used to identify unvaccinated travelers from non-red nations. To shorten the period of self-isolation, test to release is still a possibility.
Following the success of an existing pilot with the US and Europe, England will welcome fully vaccinated passengers from a number of new nations, including 17 countries and territories such as Japan and Singapore, who will be treated similarly to returning fully vaccinated UK tourists.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary 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.”
Yesterday’s update, which is part of the third Global Travel Taskforce checkpoint review, reaffirms the government’s commitment to defending its borders from the most dangerous varieties and ensures industry and passenger continuity for the rest of the year.
Several more nations and territories will be removed from the red list during the penultimate regular traffic light review before the transfer to the new two-tiered system — Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh, and Kenya. The changes will take effect at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, 22nd September.
Under the new two-tiered travel program, passengers who aren’t fully vaccinated with authorized vaccines and certificates under England’s international travel rules will still be required to take a pre-departure test, a day 2 and day 8 PCR test, and self-isolate for 10 days after returning from a non-red list country. Unvaccinated travelers who seek to shorten their isolation period can still use the Test to Release option.
Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, stated yesterday, “Today we have simplified the travel rules to make them easier to understand and follow, opening up tourism and reducing the costs to go abroad.”
“As global vaccination efforts continue to accelerate and more people gain protection from this dreadful disease, it is right that our rules and regulations keep pace.”
We’ll also be implementing changes starting in late October to allow travelers who change planes or international trains throughout their route to follow the procedures in their country of origin rather than any nations they’ve transited through.
Prior to travel, all passengers will be required to complete a passenger location form. Passengers should consult GOV.UK travel advice, including FCDO travel advice, before, during, and after their trip to stay up to date on entry requirements and ensure compliance with the most recent COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 legislation for the nation they are visiting.
Book by: Oct 31st 2021
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