On October 7, 2021, the government announced that 47 countries and territories will be removed from its red list as of 4 a.m. on Monday, October 11th, making it easier for more individuals to travel overseas to a larger number of countries and territories. Passengers returning to England from these locations will no longer be required to undergo quarantine at a hotel.
The government can confidently reduce the size of the red list to focus on nations that represent the highest risk, informed by the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) assessment, due to sustained progress on vaccination both at home and around the world.
Passengers who are fully vaccinated and under the age of 18 who are returning from countries and territories that are not on the red list can do so with just a day 2 test.
Other travellers returning from a non-red destination who have not been fully vaccinated with an authorised vaccine must nevertheless do a pre-departure test, a day 2 and day 8 test, and complete 10 days of self-isolation (with the option of Test to Release on day 5).
Eligible travellers vaccinated in over 37 new countries and territories, including Brazil, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and Turkey, will be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated UK residents starting at 4 a.m. on Monday, October 11th, as long as they have not visited a red list country or territory in the 10 days prior to arriving in England.
Passengers arriving from outside the United Kingdom who do not have an authorised vaccine must nevertheless undergo a pre-departure test, a day 2 and day 8 test, and complete a 10-day self-isolation period (with the option of Test to Release on day 5).
The latest travel update follows the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s statement earlier this week that it had dropped its travel advice for over 30 nations and territories. As countries and territories are removed off the red list, more advisories will be lifted, making it easier for travellers to be protected by insurance when travelling to a wider range of destinations.
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.”
He continued, “The change to restrictions builds on the recent simplification of international travel rules, including the removal of pre-departure testing for eligible fully vaccinated travellers implemented earlier this week. Government scientists will continue to engage with countries still on the red list and keep the evidence on variants of concern, especially Lambda and Mu, under close review in order to ensure the UK’s approach remains proportionate. The government will continue to maintain surveillance at the border through testing and genomic sequencing, so that we can respond rapidly if risks from any country increase.”
From late October, eligible fully vaccinated passengers, including children under the age of 18, will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, followed by a free PCR test if the test is positive, lowering the cost of tests upon arrival in England. The government can also confirm that travellers conducting postal tests will be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test as a minimum need to verify the test result, with the goal of having this in place by the end of the month for individuals returning from half-term breaks.
All data for all countries and territories will be reviewed on a regular basis, and the government will not hesitate to act if the epidemiological picture of a country changes.
– India’s new age travel digital media