- UK abolishes ‘traffic light’ system; opts for a simpler regime for fully immunized arrivals
Sri Lanka and seven other countries have been removed from the UK’s ‘Red List’ travel advisory from tomorrow, boosting the country’s tourism outlook.
An AFP report said pandemic restrictions on travel to England and Scotland should be eased, citing officials on Friday, replacing a complicated ‘traffic light’ watchlist with a simpler regime for arrivals entirely. vaccinated.
The ‘orange’ list covering travel from much of the world, including Europe, will be removed in the UK’s two largest countries, reflecting high levels of COVID-19 vaccination by d ‘other countries.
The reform comes after strong concern among the public and the travel industry about Byzantine rules that made summer vacations prohibitive for many families.
The AFP report quoted UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps: “The changes mean a simpler and more straightforward system.
“One with less testing and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones or do business around the world while giving the travel industry a boost.”
Only the “red” list will remain, forcing travelers to self-quarantine at government-approved hotels if they arrive from COVID hotspots, he added.
But eight countries will drop from the English and Scottish red list starting next Wednesday – Bangladesh, Egypt, Kenya, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
The AFP report also said that from October 4, fully vaccinated travelers arriving from England from other destinations would no longer need to be tested before departure. And from the end of October, they will no longer have to take an expensive PCR test on the second day of their stay in England, only a rapid lateral flow test.
Shapps’ statement only applied to England, but Scotland’s separate government followed suit with parallel changes removing the Orange List.
However, Edinburgh maintained the requirement for PCR testing before departure and on the second day, “due to significant concerns about the impact on public health”.
All of the UK’s decentralized administrations – including Wales and Northern Ireland – have followed previous changes to travel rules announced by the UK government in London.
The Welsh government has said it will “carefully consider” the London announcement, but also expressed concern over changes to the testing regime.
Nonetheless, UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “As global immunization efforts continue to accelerate and more people are protected against this terrible disease, it is right that our rules and regulations keep pace. ”
Travel industry bodies have welcomed the move, while UK Chambers of Commerce have said it could bring travelers and businesses “the confidence and clarity needed after so much uncertainty”.
British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle also welcomed the changes, but urged UK ministers to end all testing for fully vaccinated passengers “as soon as possible”.
Virgin Atlantic chief executive Shai Weiss said Prime Minister Boris Johnson should go further by negotiating the removal of U.S. travel restrictions on British nationals.
Johnson is due to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week and may meet with President Joe Biden during the trip.