England eases Covid-19 rules for international travellers
The UK Government set out measures to boost international travel to England on Friday, abandoning expensive Covid-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers, scrapping its traffic light system and adding eight countries to its safe list.
From October 4, there will be a single red list of countries from where travellers to England must stay in a UK Government-supervised hotel – with Turkey, Pakistan and the Maldives all removed from the line-up.
People who are fully vaccinated will no longer need a pre-departure test before returning from non-red list destinations including Gibraltar, and from later in the month will be able to replace the day two PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow test.
"We’re making testing easier for travel," said UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps on Twitter.
In a series of tweets, Mr Shapps said the new “simplified” system aimed to strike “the right balance to manage the public health risk as No.1 priority”.
The widely expected move comes amid intense pressure from the travel industry to relax restrictions after another summer hit by coronavirus controls.
In a statement, Mr Shapps: “Today’s changes mean a simpler, more straightforward system. One with less testing and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones or conduct business around the world while providing a boost for the travel industry.”
“Public health has always been at the heart of our international travel policy and with more than eight in 10 adults fully vaccinated in the UK, we are now able to introduce a proportionate updated structure that reflects the new landscape.”