Is it the end of the UK travel traffic light system?
Throughout 2020 and now 2021, travellers have been pulled from pillar to post with changing travel rules and restrictions, resulting in booking and cancelling flights at short notice.
The UK government has proposed changes to the current travel traffic light system which are due to be announced in the coming weeks.
What are the current rules in the traffic light system?
Green list rules– You must take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel to England from a green list country. You must book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test to be taken after arrival in England and complete a passenger locator form. On arrival to the UK you must take a test on or before day 2.
Amber list rules – You must take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel to England from an amber list country. You must book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test to be taken after arrival in England and complete a passenger locator form. On arrival to the UK you must take a test on or before day 2. If not fully vaccinated you must quarantine for 10 days on arrival.
Red list rules – Red list countries should not be visited “except in the most extreme of circumstances.” The rules require isolation for 10 days in a quarantine hotel on arrival to England.
Changes to the traffic light system
There has been talk of a new travel system that will allow vaccinated travellers to visit countries with similarly high levels of vaccination as the UK without the need for quarantine. However, there is mention that the government will not remove the red list rules.
Travel industry leaders have expressed concerns with the current traffic light system which can be changed within an instant. Earlier in the summer, Mexico had been altered on the UK travel list leaving many having to quickly return home in order to avoid quarantine.
The government has a task trying to balance the impact on the travel industry with the current system, and protecting public health against new variants that may be brought into the UK.
For those planning on travelling in the near future, it is important to watch out for upcoming travel rule changes.
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