After 19 months of severe Covid travel restrictions, the UK’s Red List is finally being reduced to 0. The government has announced that the seven remaining countries will be removed from the UK’s red list from 4am on 1 November.
These are Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps tweeted:
UPDATE: All seven remaining countries on the red list will be REMOVED from Mon 1 Nov at 4am ❌
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) October 28, 2021
This is not, however, the end of the Red List as countries may still find themselves on it if their incidences of Covid raises. In that case, they would be prey to the same hotel quarantine requirements costing £2,285 per solo traveller and £3,715 per couple.
Referring to the Red List “as the UK’s first line of defence” Shapps said:
“We will keep the red list category in place as a precautionary measure to protect public health and are prepared to add countries and territories back if needed, as the UK’s first line of defence.”
At the same time, the government has widened the scope of accepted vaccination certification to more than 135 countries. This includes Peru and Uganda. This means that travellers from those countries arriving in the UK need to simply have a rapid antigen test on day 2.
Gary Lewis, CEO of The Travel Network Group which represents more than 1,200 travel businesses in the UK, said:
“The travel industry will be breathing a sigh of relief now costly hotel quarantine is being scrapped for those returning from red list countries. It is encouraging to see further progress being made to remove barriers to free travel after 19 months of restrictions. We hope that this move helps to build customer confidence and reassure people that they can book trips and travel without the threat of costly or disruptive changes to their plans.”