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September 20, 2021

UK unveils new simplified system for international travel

A single red list of nations and territories will now come in the place of the current traffic light system.

The UK Government has introduced a new simplified system for international travel in the wake of the country’s successful domestic Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

A single red list of nations and territories will now replace the present traffic light system.

The simplified travel measures for arrivals from outside the UK will commence on 4 October.

For eligible fully vaccinated passengers, testing requirements will be reduced and they will not be required to take a PDT when travelling to England.

In addition, eligible fully vaccinated travellers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red nations will be able to substitute their day two test with a cheaper lateral flow test from the end of next month.

Those testing positive will be isolated and required to undergo a confirmatory PCR test without any extra cost.

Testing for unvaccinated travellers from non-red countries will cover pre-departure tests, day two and day eight PCR tests.

Furthermore, a test to release will exist as an option to minimise the self-isolation period.

Starting from 4 October, England will welcome fully vaccinated passengers from 17 nations and territories, including Japan and Singapore.

Before moving on to the new two-tiered system, several additional countries and territories will be removed from the red list such as Turkey, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Oman, the Maldives, Egypt, Bangladesh and Kenya.

These changes will be implemented from 22 September.

UK Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We have simplified the travel rules to make them easier to understand and follow, opening up tourism and reducing the costs to go abroad.

“As global vaccination efforts continue to accelerate and more people gain protection from this dreadful disease, it is right that our rules and regulations keep pace.”

In July, the UK Government announced plans to lift quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers coming from the EU and the US.

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