New system for international travel
- new, clearer travel system: red list and rest of the world
- simpler and cheaper rules for fully vaccinated travelers from countries not on the red list – fully vaccinated passengers will be able to replace day 2 PCR tests with cheaper lateral flow tests – from end of October – and will no longer need to take pre-departure tests (PDT)
- 8 destinations removed from the red list including Turkey and Pakistan
- government recognizes full immunizations in 17 other countries and territories, including Japan and Singapore
Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps announced today (September 17, 2021) a simplified system for international travel in light of the success of the UKthe deployment of national vaccines, providing greater stability for industry and passengers.
The current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories that will remain crucial to protect public health, and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world from Monday, October 4 at 4 a.m. .
Testing requirements will also be reduced for fully vaccinated eligible travelers, who will no longer need to take a PDT on a trip to England from Monday October 4 at 4 a.m.
From the end of October, fully vaccinated eligible passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a selected group of non-red countries will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of testing to arrival in England. . The government wants to introduce it by the end of October, with the aim of having it in place when people return from midterm vacation.
Anyone who tests positive will need to self-isolate and take a confirmation PCR test, at no additional cost to the traveler, which would be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.
Testing for unvaccinated passengers from non-red countries will include pre-departure testing on days 2 and 8 PCR testing. The release test remains an option to reduce the period of self-isolation.
From October 4, England will welcome fully vaccinated travelers from a multitude of new countries – who will be treated as fully vaccinated returning UK travelers – including 17 countries and territories such as Japan and Singapore, following the success of an existing pilot with the we and European.
Grant Shapps Transportation Secretary said:
Today’s changes mean a simpler and more straightforward system. A solution with less testing and lower costs, enabling more people to travel, see loved ones or do business around the world while boosting the travel industry.
Public health has always been at the heart of our international travel policy and with more than 8 out of 10 adults vaccinated in the UK, we are now able to introduce an updated proportional structure that reflects the new landscape.
Part of the Global Travel Taskforce’s third checkpoint review, today’s update reiterates the government’s focus on protecting its borders from the most dangerous variants and ensuring continuity for the industry and passengers the rest of the year. We will seek to establish a new review for the UKthe international travel policy of the start of the new year to provide additional certainty for the spring and summer 2022 seasons.
During the last regular traffic light review before the switch to the new two-tier system, several additional countries and territories will be removed from the red list – Turkey, Pakistan, Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya. The changes will take effect on Wednesday, September 22 at 4 a.m.
Passengers who are not recognized as being fully vaccinated with vaccines and certificates permitted under England’s international travel rules will still need to take a pre-departure test on day 2 and day 8 PCR test and self-isolate for 10 days upon their return from a non-redlisted country under the new two-tier travel program. Test to Release will remain an option for unvaccinated passengers who wish to shorten their isolation period.
Sajid Javid, Secretary of Health and Social Affairs, said:
Today, we have simplified the travel rules to make them easier to understand and follow, opening up tourism and reducing the costs of going abroad.
As global immunization efforts continue to accelerate and more people are protected from this terrible disease, it is only right that our rules and regulations keep pace.
From the end of October, we will also be making changes to allow passengers who change international flights or trains during their journey to follow the metrics associated with their country of departure, rather than the countries through which they have transited in the part of their trip.
All passengers will always need to complete a passenger locator form prior to travel. Passengers should continue to check GOV.UK travel advice, including FCDO travel advice before, during and after the trip to keep abreast of entry requirements and ensure compliance with the latest COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 regulations for the country visited.