The Speaker
Saturday, 25 May 2024 – 20:57

Travel rules to be relaxed in England from 4 October

The UK’s traffic light system for international travel is to be scrapped and replaced with just a single red list, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

An overhaul of the travel rules from 4 October will also mean that fully vaccinated travellers will not need to take PCR tests ahead of returning to England. From the end of October, the day-two post-arrival test will be changed from a PCR test to a cheaper lateral flow test.

People who are not fully vaccinated will still have to pay for PCR tests.

A list of eight countries including Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kenya and Oman are also to be removed from the red list. 

The announcement has largely been welcomed by travellers and the tourism industry alike, with the measures expected to make travelling easier in the coming months.

Speaking on Friday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the purpose of the new rules is to “make it easier to travel without the bureaucracy”, adding that the rules will remain in place until at least the new year.

Coronavirus travel rules are a devolved matter in the UK. In a written statement to the Welsh Senedd, Welsh Health Minister Eluned Morgan said the Welsh Government will “carefully consider the UK Government’s proposed changes to the border health measures”, adding that consideration would be “underpinned by robust evidence and our main focus will continue to be on reducing the risk to public health in Wales”.

Morgan warned that the new measures increase the opportunities for new variants of the virus to enter the country and reiterated that the Welsh Government’s advice remains that people should avoid travelling abroad except for essential reasons.


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