The international travel traffic light system is being simplified in England with a single red list, as part of an overhaul of the rules from 4 October.
PCR tests will no longer be required for fully vaccinated travellers returning to England.
Under the new testing regime, people who have had both vaccines will not need to take a pre-departure test before traveling to the UK from any country unless it is on the red list.
Later in October, the government will replace the day two PCR test with a cheaper, rapid lateral flow test.
What are the changes for fully vaccinated travellers?
There is no need to self-isolate on arrival from anywhere except red list countries.
For arrivals from 4 October, England is reducing the multiple tests to just one. The requirement to take a test before travel to the UK will be scrapped.
But travellers must continue to book and pay in advance for a “day two” test – which can be taken on the day of return or either of the two following days.
In October the PCR tests will be changed to the cheaper, faster Rapid Lateral Flow Test.
Anyone testing positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional cost to the traveller, which would be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.
From late October, there will also be making changes to allow passengers who change flights or international trains during their journey to follow the measures associated to their country of departure, rather than any countries they have transited through as part of their journey.
All passengers will still need to fill in a passenger locator form ahead of travel. Passengers should continue to check GOV.UK travel guidance including FCDO travel advice before, during and after travel to keep up to date in entry requirements and ensure compliance with the latest COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 regulations for the country being visited.
Scotland won’t ditch pre-flight tests
The Scottish government has said it will also be making changes to travel rules.
The traffic light system will be dropped but Scotland will not follow England in removing the pre-departure test requirement for the fully vaccinated returning from non-red list countries, the government said.
What are the changes for those who are not vaccinated?
Passengers who aren’t recognised as being fully vaccinated with authorised vaccines and certificates under England’s international travel rules, will still have to take a pre-departure test, a day 2 and day 8 PCR test and self-isolate for 10 days upon their return from a non-red list country under the new two-tiered travel programme. Test to Release will remain an option for unvaccinated passengers who wish to shorten their isolation period.
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