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4 OCTOBER 2021
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The traffic light system, confusing just about everyone involved in travel, from today has been scrapped by the Department for Transport (DfT) in a major overhaul of Covid restrictions. Your outbound country to England will be either red or green.
Upon arrival, fully-vaccinated green arrivals must still book and pay for a day two Covid test and add the details of the booking to a passenger locator form, which must be filled out in the 48 hours before arrival in UK. There are hopes that this too might be scrapped later in the month, before the school half-term.
Pre-departure testing will still be required by travellers arriving in the UK from red list countries.
If you have been in a red list country in the 10 days before entering the UK, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish national or you have residence rights in the UK. As well as taking a pre-departure Covid test within three days of travelling and completing a passenger locator form, you must book a 10-day hotel quarantine package starting at £2,285 for an adult. During the hotel quarantine period you must take PCR tests both before day two and after day eight.
Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK, said: “Things are moving in the right direction and the removal of these restrictions will make it easier and cheaper for people to travel. We’ve seen a good response to the announcement in terms of bookings and given current trends we would hope to see more countries come off the red list and further mutual recognition of vaccine status. There is still much to do though – this is not job done and Ministers need to keep in mind that we remain an outlier on arrivals testing for vaccinated passengers. In the short-term the removal of PCR testing by the October half-term week is critical, and we look forward to clarity on the start date for this as soon as possible.”
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Barry Graham, United States
Good to see the ridiculous testing requirement lifted before travel. Now it makes even less sense to do the day 2 test and to have to test to return to the USA. Hopefully both of those, as well as the mask wearing, will also end soon.
Stephen Hillcoat, Turkey
Utterly shambolic that as an ex-pat living in Turkey, our biontech vaccines are still not recognised by HMG which means that seeing loved ones comes with a raft of restrictions and huge expense. Shambles!
Neil Munro, Hampshire
How to shoot yourself in the foot. Is it beyond the wit of these people that if you have been fully vaccinated you may enter and or leave the country?
William Body, Northaw
I was going to call myself ‘confused of West Ham’ but speaking around ‘confused of England’ might be better