United Kingdom Transport Minister Grant Shapps has announced the removal of Britain’s “traffic light” travel list and the introduction of a new two-tier plan aimed at easing travel requirements for vaccinated passengers.
Shapps on Friday said the traffic light system, on which Cayman is listed as a green watchlist country, will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories. Simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world will be introduced from Monday, 4 Oct. at 4am.
He also said eight countries and territories will come off the red list from Wednesday, 22 Sept at 4am, including Turkey, Pakistan and Maldives.
TRAVEL UPDATE🔊: we’re making testing easier for travel 🧳💉 From Mon 4 Oct, if you’re fully vax you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country and from later in Oct, will be able to replace the day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 17, 2021
“Today’s changes mean a simpler, more straightforward system. One with less testing and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones or conduct business around the world while providing a boost for the travel industry,” he said in a statement on the changes.
Eligible fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to take a pre-departure COVID test when travelling to England starting from Monday, 4 Oct.
Testing for unvaccinated passengers from non-red countries will include pre-departure tests, day two and day eight PCR tests. Test to release, the statement said, remains an option to reduce self-isolation period.
From the end of October, eligible fully vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries will be able to replace their day two test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England.
“The government wants to introduce this by the end of October, aiming to have it in place for when people return from half-term breaks. Anyone testing positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional cost to the traveller, which would be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants,” the statement added.
Unvaccinated travellers will have to test, isolate
Passengers who are not recognised as being fully vaccinated with authorised vaccines and certificates under England’s international travel rules will still have to take a pre-departure test, a day two and day eight PCR test and self-isolate for 10 days upon their return from a non-red list country under the new two-tiered travel programme.
Test to release will remain an option for unvaccinated passengers who wish to shorten their isolation period.
“Today we have simplified the travel rules to make them easier to understand and follow”
A further review for the UK’s international travel policy will be looked at early in the new year “to provide further certainty for the spring and summer 2022 seasons,” Shapps said in the statement.
Sajid Javid Health and Social Care Secretary, in the statement on the changes added, “Today we have simplified the travel rules to make them easier to understand and follow, opening up tourism and reducing the costs to go abroad. As global vaccination efforts continue to accelerate and more people gain protection from this dreadful disease, it is right that our rules and regulations keep pace.”
From late October, changes will also be made to allow passengers who change flights or international trains during their journey to follow the measures associated to their country of departure, rather than any countries they have transited through as part of their journey.
All passengers will still need to fill in a passenger locator form ahead of travel.