UK travel update: Overhaul of ‘traffic light’ rules due

I’ll set out measures to simplify international travel later today in order to reduce costs, take advantage of higher levels of vaccination, and keep us all safe. ✈🚢🚆— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 17, 2021

Currently, travellers who are not fully vaccinated are required to quarantine upon returning to the UK from an amber list destination.

By removing the amber category, only passengers arriving from red list countries would have to quarantine in a government-approved hotel.

Ministers have also been under pressure to reconsider the testing requirements for travellers – with the industry and holidaymakers hoping for the change ahead of the October half-term holiday.

Under current rules, people arriving from green list countries must take a Covid test shortly before their return and submit a PCR test on their second day back in the UK.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK told the BBC that testing requirements were preventing the UK travel industry from competing with European rivals.

He also warned that thousands of jobs could be at stake if restrictions remain while furlough support ends.

Don’t forget to check the rules at your destination

If you plan to travel abroad, check carefully the Covid rules where you are going.

For example:

  • Malta – everyone aged 12 and over must be fully vaccinated to enter
  • Portugal – the rules for the mainland are different to those for Madeira or the Azores
  • France – you need an essential reason to enter if you are not fully vaccinated

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