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October 4, 2021

UK implements simplified travel system for international passengers

The existing traffic light system is replaced with new rules that categorise countries as ‘red’ and ‘rest of the world’.

The UK Government has implemented a new simplified travel system in a bid to facilitate international travelling.

The new system replaces the previous traffic-light system and categorises countries and territories as either ‘red’ or the ‘rest of the world’.

Under the new system, fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under-18s from more than 50 countries and places not on the red list can return without a pre-departure test (PDT).

The previously applicable day eight test or a ten-day self-isolation period for these passengers were also withdrawn.

In addition, eligible travellers from a select group of non-red nations inoculated with an approved vaccine will not have the option to replace day two testing with a cheaper lateral flow test from later this month.

If a passenger tests positive for Covid-19, they will isolate and undergo a confirmatory PCR test without any extra cost.

UK 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 ten 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 UK Government announced the new simplified system for international travel last month.

The new regulations also mandate that under-18 passengers from countries whose vaccination status is recognised by the UK will not be required to present a negative PDT before travelling to England.

All passengers below 11 years of age are exempted from the pre-departure testing requirement.

However, children aged 11 and over who are not travelling from one of the more than 50 countries and territories where the vaccines are recognised will be required to follow the same rules as for unvaccinated passengers.

The UK is also expanding its vaccinated policy to another 18 countries, including the UAE, Japan and Canada.

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