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11 OCTOBER 2021
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New simplified travel rules have come into force in the UK, with the traffic light system replaced by a single red list.
If you have been in one of these countries in the last 10 days, you cannot travel to the UK:
Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
The only exception is if you are a UK or Irish national, or UK resident – in which case you need to take a Covid-19 test before departure for the UK, complete a passenger locator form, and self-isolate on arrival in the UK for ten days in a quarantine hotel, paid in advance. As an adult it will cost you for ten days (11 nights) £2,285. An additional adult (age 12+) will be £1,430 and for children aged five to 11, £325.
Vaccinations from a further 37 new countries and territories will be accepted. They include Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey but you must be able to prove you are fully vaccinated.
Everyone under 18 – and resident in one of these countries – can also travel to the UK without taking a pre-departure test, whether or not they've been vaccinated.
All travellers – except children under five years old – still have to book and pay for a PCR test two days after arrival.
The Government says you should book this test before you travel.
From the end of October, fully vaccinated people coming to England will no longer have to take a PCR test two days after arrival.
Instead, they'll be able to take a cheaper and simpler lateral flow test.
Passengers will be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test to verify the result.
The Department for Transport has noted that the National Health Service (NHS) lateral flow devices cannot be used for travel. "Both pre-departure tests and on arrival tests must be bought from private providers," it said.
The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says that he hopes to change the Covid tests people coming into the UK must take before families return from half-term holidays.
But the Minister did not give a date for when the expensive PCR tests would be swapped for cheaper lateral flow tests.
For many schools, the half-term holidays start on 22 October, with families going away on foreign trips.
The Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has also commented: “These updates make travel abroad easier – boosting trade, tourism and reuniting friends and families. I am delighted that the safe reopening of travel allows people to exercise personal responsibility and visit more destinations across the globe.”
Also see AND FINALLY: Border controls in this week's BTN.
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