The final seven red-status countries were removed at the previous Department for Transport (DfT) review on 1 November; but transport secretary Grant Shapps had emphasised that the red list still existed in principle, with a three-weekly review to decide if any destinations would move back down.
However, on 18 November, he confirmed that the red list - which requires arrivals to pay for a pricey 10-day stint in hotel quarantine on entry to the UK - would remain empty.
Mr Shapps tweeted: “TRAVEL UPDATE: there will be no countries or territories added to the red list. We will continue to keep all measures under review.”
The expectation was that no nations would be added to the red list, despite soaring Covid rates across Europe.
It’s assumed that destinations will only be demoted from the “rest of world” (ROW) list if a new variant of concern is detected. At present, countries are largely struggling with the Delta variant, also prevalent in the UK.
However, there was one change in the DfT announcement: a further 15 countries’ vaccines will now be recognised by the UK, widening the pool of potential inbound travellers.
Shapps added: “Proof of vaccination will be recognised from 15 more countries and territories including Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Senegal and Zimbabwe, another boost for business and leisure travel.”
The changes will come into effect at 4am on Monday 22 November.
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