The UK is set to remove all of the remaining countries from its travel red list from next month, as the country looks to continue on its trajectory of slowly removing Covid-19 restrictions. The UK’s red travel list has been a problematic feature of its Covid-19 influenced travel system, and the decision to remove all countries from it follows significant upheaval of the UK’s whole Covid-19 travel system in recent weeks, which saw the country wave goodbye to its controversial traffic light system.
Whilst the red list may be gone for now, the UK is still very much in the grips of the pandemic, and is still recording some of the highest case numbers in the world. Here’s a look at the UK’s decision to take all remaining countries off of the red list, what requirements still exist for those traveling to the UK and what Covid-19 in the UK looks like at present.
Red List Removed – Information For Travelers
A couple of months ago, the UK delighted both travelers in the UK and around the world when it revealed it would be revamping its Covid-19 travel system. Earlier this month, the changes went live, which brought about the end of the controversial green and amber travel lists, leaving only the red list behind to serve as one of the final remnant of a Covid-related system for travel that made it difficult and expensive to leave the country.
From the day the changes went live and the green and amber lists were removed, it also seemed like the red list’s days were numbered. The revamp saw 47 countries removed from the red list, leaving only 7 destinations on the list. Travelers from a red list country had to not only go through several rounds of pre and post flight testing, but also had to book a mandatory two, week stay in one of the government’s quarantine hotels – a stay that would would cost travelers in excess of £1,000. However, to the delight of travelers, the red list is set to be empty.
The UK announced that From 4am on Monday 1st November, the remaining 7 destinations on the red list will be removed. Those countries are as follows:
Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
Yet whilst they are set to be removed from the red list on Monday, that does not necessarily mean that it will be the last we see of the red list in this pandemic.
The red list, along with quarantine hotels, is set to stick around, acting as the UK’s first line of defence should any new Covid-19 variants of concern be detected. Reviews of which countries should be added to the red list will still take place every three weeks, with the British government adding that new restrictions will be imposed if there is a need to do so to protect public health.
Speaking about the move, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“This is another step in the right direction for international travel with more good news today for passengers, businesses and the travel sector. We’re continuing to make great progress as we recover from the pandemic and today is another example of how far we have come.”
Fully vaccinated arrivals into the UK must take either a lateral flow test or PCR test on their second day after arriving into the country. They must also fill in a passenger locator form prior to their arrival. Unvaccinated travelers must also fill in a passenger locator form, as well as a PCR test prior to travel and two more on days 2 and 8 in the UK.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories