The British government last night confirmed that from 4am Monday 11 October, 47 countries and territories will be removed from its red list, making it easier for more people to travel abroad to a larger number of countries and territories. Passengers returning to England from these destinations will no longer be required to enter hotel quarantine.
The continued progress on vaccination both at home and around the world means government can confidently reduce the size of the red list to focus on countries which pose the highest risk, informed by UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) assessment.
Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under 18s returning from countries and territories not on the red list, can do so with just a day 2 test.
Also announced today, from 4am Monday 11 October, eligible travellers vaccinated in over 37 new countries and territories including Brazil, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey, will also be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated UK residents, so long as they have not visited a red list country or territory in the 10 days before arriving in England.
With half-term and winter sun around the corner, we’re making it easier for families and loved ones to reunite, by significantly cutting the number of destinations on the red list, thanks in part to the increased vaccination efforts around the globe.
Restoring people’s confidence in travel is key to rebuilding our economy and levelling up this country. With less restrictions and more people traveling, we can all continue to move safely forward together along our pathway to recovery.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said
Our robust border measures have helped protect the phenomenal progress of our vaccination programme, and it is because of this success both here and around the world that we can safely open up travel further and we can visit friends and family abroad.
We’re now making it easier and cheaper for people to travel by allowing fully vaccinated travellers from non-red list countries to use lateral flow tests on day 2 of arrival, as long as they provide proof of use.
The change to restrictions builds on the recent simplification of international travel rules, including the removal of pre-departure testing for eligible fully vaccinated travellers implemented earlier this week. Government scientists will continue to engage with countries still on the red list and keep the evidence on variants of concern, especially Lambda and Mu, under close review in order to ensure the UK’s approach remains proportionate. The government will continue to maintain surveillance at the border through testing and genomic sequencing, so that we can respond rapidly if risks from any country increase.
From late October, eligible fully vaccinated passengers including under 18s returning from a rest of world country will have the option to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, followed by a free PCR test if positive, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England. The government can also confirm passengers taking postal tests will be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test as a minimum requirement to verify the test result, with the ambition remaining to have this in place for people returning from half-term breaks by the end of the month.
The data for all countries and territories will be kept under review and the government will not hesitate to take action where a country’s epidemiological picture changes.