COVID-19: UK travel rules change this week – what will be different and how will it work? | UK News
UK travel rules are set to change again this week as more restrictions are relaxed, allowing people to be more confident in their plans.
UK holidaymakers have been forced to adapt to many new travel rules since the summer over the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of May of this year, travelers have adhered to the government’s traffic light system, which changes regularly depending on the countries to be visited safely.
These changes have made it difficult to plan a trip abroad, but a major shake-up announced a few weeks ago will take effect on Monday – and the rules are expected to stay in place until the New Year.
What travel rules are changing this week?
Traffic light system
The current system of traffic lights for red, yellow and green countries will be replaced by a single red list.
Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps announced the plans last month, saying the goal was to “make things easier.”
He wrote on Twitter: “We make it easy to test for travel.
“From Monday October 4, if you are fully vaccinated you will not need a pre-departure test before you arrive in England from a non-red country and from later in October you can replace day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow.
“We will also introduce a new simplified system for international travel from Monday October 4, replacing the current approach with a single red list and simplified measures for the rest of the world – finding the right balance to manage risk for public health as a number 1 priority. “
Fully vaccinated people will no longer need to take a pre-departure test to travel to England from countries not on the Red Lists.
At the end of October, people will also be able to replace their day two PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow test.
However, those who are not vaccinated will still have to pay for PCR testing.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid had previously said he wanted to get rid of PCR testing for travel “as soon as possible”.
He told Sky News’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “I’m not going to make that decision right now, but I’ve already asked officials that as soon as we can, let’s get rid of these kinds of intrusions.
“The cost that this generates for families, especially families who are just trying to get out and go on vacation, you know we shouldn’t be keeping something like this in place for a second longer than is absolutely necessary. “
Lateral flow tests
The pre-arrival side flow test required by all Brits returning to the UK will also be removed this week.
The government will also continue to pressure people to get their vaccines by maintaining a 10-day quarantine on the unvaccinated, regardless of what country they come from.
Which countries will still be on the red list?
Anyone returning from a Red List country will also have to pay £ 2,285 to self-quarantine at a government-approved hotel.
The red list as it is:
Congo (Democratic Republic)
Trinidad and Tobago
What happens if a traveler tests positive upon their return to the UK?
Anyone who tests positive will need to self-isolate and take a free confirmatory PCR test.
This would then be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.
Will the new rules apply to the whole of the UK?
Travel changes will only apply to England.
The Scottish government has already announced that it will not remove the requirement for fully vaccinated people to take a pre-departure test before returning from non-redlisted areas.
The Scottish government said: “A decision by the UK government to implement proposals to remove the requirement for a pre-departure test in England and to use lateral flow tests on the second day has not been adopted at this stage in Scotland due to significant concerns about the impact on public health. “
Health and Social Services Minister Eluned Morgan added that the Welsh government would “carefully consider” the new travel measures announced for England before making a decision.
Are the rules the same for leaving the UK and coming back from other countries?
The rules will only apply to those returning to the UK.
Towards the end of October, passengers who change international flights or trains during their trip will be able to track metrics associated with the country of origin, rather than the countries they have passed through on their journey.
However, a date for this has yet to be confirmed.