POLITICS
17/09/2021 16:54 BST | Updated 17/09/2021 18:24 BST

Travel Update: Traffic Light System For International Travel Scrapped

Only "red" list remains under shake-up that will also mean a cheaper, simpler system of testing.

Hollie Adams via Getty Images

Holidays will be made cheaper and easier for double-jabbed travellers, under changes announced by the transport secretary.

The current traffic light system of “red”, “amber” and “green” countries will be scrapped and replaced with one “red” list only, from October 4.

Eight countries are being removed from the red list from 4am on Wednesday September 22 – Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya.

The transport secretary Grant Shapps made the announcement on Friday afternoon. 

In a series of tweets, Shapps also said testing was being “made easier”.

People who are fully vaccinated will no longer need a pre-departure test before returning from non-red list destinations, and from later in the month will be able to replace the day two PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow test.

Those unvaccinated will still have to pay for PCR tests.

The shake-up is expected to lead to a surge in bookings for foreign holidays. 
Already, in the days leading up to the announcement, demand for “red” list holiday destinations started increasing in the expectation that rules would be loosened.

Shapps said the new system was “proportionate” and “reflects the new landscape” of the numbers of those who are fully vaccinated.

He said: “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.”

People returning to the UK from “red” destinations will still be forced to enter a quarantine hotel for 10 days, which will cost solo travellers £2,285.