All countries removed
from UK red list

From 4am on Monday 1 November, the remaining seven countries on the UK’s red list will be removed, in line with public health advice.

The change means that passengers arriving in England from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela will no longer be required to enter hotel quarantine on arrival.

The red list and quarantine hotel policy will remain in place and continue to act as the UK’s first defence against incoming variants of concern. The red list will be reviewed every three weeks and restrictions will be imposed if there is a need to do so to protect public health.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “This is another step in the right direction for international travel with more good news today for passengers, businesses and the travel sector. We’re continuing to make great progress as we recover from the pandemic and today is another example of how far we have come.

Whether it’s reuniting family members or making it easier for businesses to trade, the success of the vaccine rollout both at home and abroad has allowed us to reach this milestone. However, we must not be complacent and remain ready to spring into action and defend our hard-won gains if needed.”

Fully vaccinated passengers

Also coming into effect from Monday, over 30 countries and territories will be added to the inbound vaccination policy, bringing the total number of countries covered by the policy to 135.

This means that eligible travellers with appropriate proof of vaccination from countries including Argentina, Tanzania and Cambodia, will now qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to the UK.

Since 24 October, eligible fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18s arriving into England from countries not on the red list have been permitted to use a cheaper lateral flow test post-arrival, with a free confirmatory PCR test if they receive a positive result. Such passengers arriving into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be able to choose to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test from 31 October.

What happens next?

With the number of countries on the red list gradually decreasing over the past few months, the government has reduced the amount of quarantine hotel rooms it requires, to reflect lower passenger demand.

However, a number of hotel rooms remain on standby should the government need to respond quickly to an increased risk from another country or territory and reintroduce a Managed Quarantine Service for red list passengers.

Government scientists will continue to closely monitor variants of concern and maintain surveillance through testing to ensure the UK’s approach remains proportionate.

All arrivals will still need to complete a passenger locator form ahead of travel. Travellers are advised to continue checking travel guidance on the website before, during and after travel to keep up to date with current entry requirements. Passengers are also encouraged to continue to carefully check booking terms and conditions prior to buying tickets.

Travelling to the UK?

Non-UK citizens and those without existing immigration permission to be in the UK may need to apply for a visa before travelling.

To find out the eligibility requirements and how to apply for a UK visa, please speak to a SSW advisor.

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