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Arrival into UK made easier: it's all about country of origin being on red list or not

Monday, October 4th 2021 - 18:42 UTC
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Destinations such as Brazil, Mexico and South Africa are expected to be opened up to quarantine-free travel later this week Destinations such as Brazil, Mexico and South Africa are expected to be opened up to quarantine-free travel later this week

The United Kingdom has launched a simplified system regarding the processing of arriving passengers effective Monday, Oct. 4. Following long queues and no practical improvement, British authorities have decided that arriving travelers are to be measured as coming from a country within the red list... or not.

The new method suppresses the amber category, making things simpler for health and migrations authorities, it was reported. The measures also hope to make travel to the UK “easier and cheaper,” it was reported.

The number of countries on the red list will also be slashed to nine from 54 later in the week, with destinations such as Brazil, Mexico and South Africa expected to be opened up to quarantine-free travel. These measures have been welcomed by airline and tour operators.

Fully vaccinated residents – and unvaccinated under 18s – from more than 50 countries and territories can now enter the UK without needing to complete a pre-departure lateral flow test, take a day-eight post-arrival PCR test costing around £65, or self-isolate at home, with just a single day-two post-arrival test needed. Under 11s were already exempt from pre-departure testing.

Travelers from a red tier destination will still be required to spend 11 nights at a quarantine hotel costing £2,285 for solo guests, it was reported. Nevertheless, passengers willing to travel to the UK were advised that since countries of departure may have different rules to those in the UK, it would be better to check with local authorities before heading for the airport. The same applied to stopover destinations.

Airlines have welcomed the decision that holidaymakers no longer need to take a pre-departure test as they say it makes travelling cheaper and easier.

Airlines and tour operators have been hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic, and have accused the Government of being too slow to relax and simplify the rules for international travel. Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, a trade body representing UK carriers, 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,” he added.

“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,” he went on.

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