<p>Testing times: Passengers at Berlin airport preparing for a flight to the UK</p>

Testing times: Passengers at Berlin airport preparing for a flight to the UK

Boost for vaccinated holidaymakers as new travel rules come into force

‘Green list’ has ended, with countries including Croatia, Germany and Canada effectively moved to the ‘amber list’

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Monday 04 October 2021 01:24
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The rules for arrivals to the UK have been eased for travellers who have been fully vaccinated in an “approved” country. From most nations, passengers will no longer have to take a test before departure, saving money and hassle.

But for unvaccinated arrivals – or those who have received their vaccines in around 150 other nations that are not recognised by the UK government – the latest changes are disadvantageous.

The 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 10 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.”

Travellers who have been fully vaccinated by the NHS or in one of 53 other countries need no longer present a negative result from a Covid test taken no more than three days ahead of travel.

The requirement to book and pre-pay for a PCR test to be taken on the day of return or one of the two following days continues.

The government has said it will downgrade the test required to lateral flow later in October, though no date has been set.

Travellers regarded as unvaccinated must continue to take a test before departure. In addition the “green list” has ended, with all countries effectively moved to the “amber list”.

Passengers who do not meet the UK’s vaccination requirements when arriving from nations including Croatia, Germany and Canada will now need to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in the UK.

Fifty-four nations remain on the red list, requiring hotel quarantine.

No other European country has such a policy; last weekend, Ireland abandoned its entire red list and released quarantining travellers from hotels.

Briefings from Boris Johnson’s government to the Sunday Telegraph suggest that as many as 45 nations could be removed from the red list later this week.

The UK’s red list policy, and its refusal to recognise vaccinations administered in around 150 countries worldwide, is causing increasing anger internationally.

The South African government is believed to have won assurances from ministers and diplomats that it will be removed from the red list after almost a year of severe travel restrictions.

There is also concern about the near-total collapse of inbound tourism to the UK. In July and August, visitor arrivals were 86 per cent down on 2019 levels.

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