Simplifying international travel

  • Public health is central to Britain's international travel policy – and with more than eight in ten adults fully vaccinated in the UK, we are now able to introduce an updated system.
  • That is why the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, has today announced a simpler, more straightforward approach for international travel – scrapping costly pre-departure and PCR tests for fully vaccinated passengers, and moving away from the ‘traffic light system’ towards an easier to understand travel list.
  • These changes will allow more people to travel, see loved ones, and conduct business around the world – while also providing a boost for the travel sector as we build back better from the pandemic.

The government aims to do this by:

  • Creating a simplified system for international travel by ending the traffic light system, providing greater stability for industry and passengers. From 4 October, we will no longer use a traffic light system of red, amber or green – but instead have a ‘red list’ of countries that are most at risk and people should not travel to, and the ‘rest of the world’, which will be a merger of the green and amber country lists.
  • Reducing testing requirements for eligible fully vaccinated travellers, lowering costs and making it easier to travel. From 4 October, fully vaccinated passengers travelling from non-red list countries into England will no longer be required to take a pre departure test before arrival – and later in October, will only have to take a day 2 lateral flow test, instead of a more costly PCR test. All passengers will still be required to fill in a Passenger Locator Form ahead of travel. 
  • Retaining testing measures for non-vaccinated travellers, stopping the spread of the virus in the UK. Passengers arriving from non-red list countries who are not fully vaccinated will have to take a pre-departure test, a day 2 and 8 PCR test, and self-isolate for ten days upon their return – with Test to Release remaining an option if they wish to shorten their isolation period. For passengers arriving from red list countries – the managed 10-day quarantine will continue, and Test to Release will not be an option.
  • Extending the inbound vaccination policy to more countries, allowing people to travel safely into the UK. In addition to the EU and US, from 4 October we will also permit entry to people who have been fully vaccinated in 17 more countries and territories – including Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.


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