Travel between the UK and several long haul destinations opened today as government restrictions were relaxed. Therefore, many will wonder what this means for their autumn vacation opportunities.
Here are the answers to 10 important questions about what’s changing as of today and where to go on vacation now.
Which rules have changed?
The government has reduced the number of countries it advises UK nationals to avoid non-essential travel and the red list of countries from which those entering the UK must stay in a quarantine hotel.
Where was the travel advice removed?
For 42 countries and territories such as Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Indonesia, Mexico, the Seychelles, South Africa and Thailand, the recommendation against vacation travel was dropped on Monday.
What about the red list?
47 locations were removed from the list at 4 a.m. on Monday, including the same examples.
Does that mean I can visit all of these places?
Not quite. Quarantine-free travel from the UK to Mexico, Seychelles and South Africa is possible, while Cuba will relax its regulations from November 15.
However, the strict rules in Argentina, Chile, Indonesia and Thailand make a vacation impossible for most people.
Why has the UK government relaxed its travel policy?
Ministers say they want to enable people to “take personal responsibility” wherever they travel and are also keen to see the sector recover from the pandemic.
How did travel agencies react?
The changes have been widely welcomed by airlines, airports and tour operators, but they all want testing requirements to be relaxed further.
What are the rules for fully vaccinated travelers entering the UK?
You must have a coronavirus test on or before the second day after your arrival. This has to be a PCR test, but from the end of this month people arriving in England will be able to use a cheaper and faster lateral flow test instead.
Are the rules stricter for people who are not fully vaccinated?
Yes sir. You must have a lateral flow test in the three days prior to traveling to the UK.
After arriving, they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days and complete coronavirus tests on days two and eight.
How many countries remain on the red list?
Only seven. These are Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
When could that be changed?
The red list is updated every three weeks, so the next change is expected to be announced on October 28th.
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