Simpler travel rules come into force
New rules introduced to make travel to the UK “easier and cheaper” have come into force.
The UK’s traffic light system involving green, amber and red lists has been scrapped, with locations categorised as either on the red list or not.
It comes amid reports the number of countries on the red list will be slashed to nine from 54 later in the week, with destinations such as Brazil, Mexico and South Africa expected to be opened up to quarantine-free travel.
Fully vaccinated residents – and unvaccinated under 18s – from more than 50 countries and territories can now enter the UK without needing to complete a pre-departure lateral flow test, take a day-eight post-arrival PCR test costing around £65, or self-isolate at home, with just a single day-two post-arrival test needed.
Under 11s were already exempt from pre-departure testing.
People arriving from a red tier destination will still be required to spend 11 nights at a quarantine hotel costing £2,285 for solo travellers.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are accelerating towards a future where travel continues to reopen safely and remains open for good, and today’s rule changes are good news for families, businesses and the travel sector.
“Our priority remains to protect public health but, with more than eight in 10 people now fully vaccinated, we are able to take these steps to lower the cost of testing and help the sector to continue in its recovery.”
The easing of the quarantine and testing regulations – announced last month – has been welcomed by the travel sector, which has accused the Government of being too slow to relax travel rules.