Home England government UK’s new simplified travel system takes off from today

UK’s new simplified travel system takes off from today

  • new simplified travel system with a single red list and the rest of the world takes effect from October 4 at 4 a.m.
  • fully vaccinated travelers from over 50 countries and territories have simpler and cheaper rules, with only one post-arrival test required
  • changes come as UK government welcomes fully vaccinated residents from over 50 countries and territories who can travel like fully vaccinated UK travelers

Starting at 4 a.m. today (Monday, October 4, 2021), the UK‘s new travel system goes into effect with countries and territories listed in red or the rest of the world.

The new, streamlined travel system also means fully vaccinated eligible passengers, and eligible under-18s returning from over 50 non-redlisted countries and territories, can do so without needing to take a pre-departure test. (PDT), a day 8 test or enter a 10-day self-isolation period, which makes it easier for people on the road, whether to see friends and family, or on a business trip.

As announced last month, the new rules also mean that from the end of October, eligible passengers fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine and a recognized certificate from a country not on the Red List will be able to replace their daily test. 2 by cheaper side flow test, reduce the cost of testing upon arrival in England. The government aims to have this in place when people return from vacation halfway through.

Anyone who tests positive will need to self-isolate and take a confirmation PCR test, at no additional cost, that would be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said:

We’re accelerating toward a future where travel continues to reopen safely and stay open for good, and today’s rule changes are good news for families, businesses and the travel industry.

Our priority remains to protect public health but, with more than 8 out of 10 people now fully vaccinated, we are able to take these steps to reduce the cost of testing and help the sector continue to recover.

Also from today, those under 18 from over 50 countries with UK recognized vaccination status will not need to show a PDT before traveling to England. This applies regardless of their vaccination status.

All under 11s, regardless of where they come from, are already exempt from pre-departure testing upon arrival in the UK. If children aged 11 and over are not traveling from one of the more than 50 countries and territories where vaccines are recognized, they will have to follow the same rules as for unvaccinated passengers.

As of today, we are expanding our vaccination policy to 18 other countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Canada. The recognized vaccines are Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca (including Covidshield), Moderna and Janssen (J&J).

This builds on the UK government‘s successful pilot phase with Europe and the United States, and brings the total number of countries in scope of the policy to over 50, along with other countries and territories added in the coming weeks.

Eligible individuals must have a document from a national or state public health authority that includes certain information, including name, date of birth, and vaccination details, as outlined in the guidelines on GOV.UK.

The government maintained that it would take a phased approach to recognize vaccines administered by other countries and territories, building on the success of the pilot project with the United States and Europe.

Fully vaccinated residents in other countries that are not yet part of the arrival policy, as well as those partially vaccinated, will still need to take a pre-departure test, PCR tests for day 2 and day 8 after arrival, and self-isolate for 10 days, with the option to test to release after 5 days.

The UK government continues to work with international partners as we seek to expand the policy more regularly to other countries and territories.

All arrivals will always need to complete a passenger tracking form prior to travel. Travelers should continue to check GOV.UK’s travel advice, including travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) before, during and after travel to keep abreast of entry requirements and ensure compliance with the latest COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 regulations for the country visited. Passengers should also carefully check the booking conditions before booking.

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