UK TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS & RED LIST COUNTRIES

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UK travel restrictions are poised to take a different approach in attempts to make it easier for UK citizens who wish to travel. The UK will at the same time maintain a red list of high risk countries in a move that will be implemented on the 4th of October.

The UK transport secretary, Grant Schapps has announced the changes to the rules governing international travel into the UK for British citizens. These will see an end to pre-departure tests for fully-vaccinated travellers.

Those arriving in other UK nations will need to follow the rules issued by the respective devolved authorities. The transport secretary has stated that, if one is fully vaccinated, they wont need a pre-departure test before arriving in the UK from a non-red country and that they would be able to replace the PCR test taken on day 2 of their return with a cheaper lateral flow test.

PCR tests can cost upwards of £70, while lateral flow tests cost around £30 per person – a still-significant amount, especially for families.

The UK has unlocked travel with some 59 countries. Image courtesy of CNN

REPRIEVE FOR HOLIDAY MAKERS

The government wants to have this system in place in time for holidaymakers returning after the upcoming school half-term break.

All passengers will still need to fill in a passenger locator form ahead of travel. Visit here to see the current requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers from green, amber and red countries.

Unvaccinated passengers returning from non-red countries from 4 October will still need to take pre-departure tests, Day 2 and Day 8 PCR tests during a 10-day period of self-isolation. Test to release on Day 5 remains an option to reduce the self-isolation period.

Mr Schapps has also announced changes to the current red list, removing eight countries (Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya). The changes will take effect on Wednesday (22 September) at 4am.

A greater number of countries had been expected by some to come off the red list, but the removal from the list, of popular holiday destinations such as Turkey, the Maldives and Egypt will be welcomed ahead of school half-term.

TRAVEL INSURANCE IS PARAMOUNT

Anyone with plans to travel in the coming weeks should make sure they have appropriate travel insurance for their chosen destination.

Signalling the dismantling of the often-controversial traffic light system of grading countries according to their perceived Covid risk, Schapps has said that Britain will be introducing a new simplified system for international travel from Monday 4 October, replacing the current approach with a single red list and simplified measures for the rest of the world – striking the right balance to manage the public health risk as No.1 priority.

From 4 October, the UK government will also extending the list of countries whose vaccination programmes will be seen as being on a par with that of the UK, meaning vaccinated travellers will not need a pre-departure test or a Day 8 test once in England, and they will not be required to self-isolate.

The 17 countries and territories also include Japan and Singapore.

UK Pilots & Cabin Crew have been calling for an ease up to the travel barn. Image courtesy of Reuters                                            INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL RULES CHANGE

From 4am Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world. The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status.

TRAVELLING FROM REST OF THE WORLD IF FULLY VACCINATED

From 4am Monday 4 October, if you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days:

  • under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas
  • with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan – mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is also recognised
  • under a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the US, Canada and Australia and have a proof of participation (digital or paper-based) from a public health body

You must:

  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England

You do not need to:

  • take a pre-departure test
  • take a day 8 COVID-19 test
  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days after you arrive in England

You must be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body that includes, as a minimum:

  • forename and surname(s)
  • date of birth
  • vaccine brand and manufacturer
  • date of vaccination for every dose
  • country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer

If your document from a public health body does not include all of these, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules. If not, you may be denied boarding.

If you are fully vaccinated in the US, you will also need to prove that you are a resident of the US.

If you are fully vaccinated, but do not qualify under these fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules.

Researchers are exempted from the travel restrictions

TRAVELLING FROM REST OF THE WORLD IF NOT FULLY VACCINATED

From 4am Monday 4 October, you must follow these rules if you:

  • do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules
  • are partially vaccinated
  • are not vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:

After you arrive in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8

You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

TRAVELLING FROM RED LISTED COUNTRIES

From 4am Monday 4 October, you must follow these rules if you are:

  • fully vaccinated
  • partially vaccinated
  • not vaccinated

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish national or you have residence rights in the UK. Non UK residents from the red list countries must observe this segment keenly.

Before you travel to England, you must:

When you arrive in England, you must quarantine in a managed hotel, including 2 COVID-19 tests.

 

 

 

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