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Amber list scrapped in England travel shake-up

Amber list scrapped in England travel shake-up

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced a simplified system for international travel from the UK.

He argued the move was possible in light of the success of the domestic vaccine rollout, and would provide greater stability for the industry and passengers.

The current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories, with changes coming into effect on October 4th.

Testing requirements will also be reduced for eligible fully vaccinated travellers, who will no longer need to take a PCR test when travelling to England.

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 the government said, “would be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants”.

Testing for unvaccinated passengers from non-red countries will include pre-departure tests, day two and day eight PCR tests.

Test to release remains an option to reduce self-isolation period.

From October 4th, England will welcome fully vaccinated travellers from a host of new countries – who will be treated like returning fully vaccinated UK travellers – including 17 countries and territories such as Japan and Singapore, following the success of an existing pilot with the US and Europe.

Shapps said: “This change means 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.

“Public health has always been at the heart of our international travel policy and with more than eight in ten adults vaccinated in the UK, we are now able to introduce a proportionate updated structure that reflects the new landscape.”

Shapps added there would be a further review “early in the new year” ahead of the summer season.