LONDON, Oct 8 (BNA) The British government said, on Thursday, that it will ease travel rules further next week, a move that will open many long-term holiday destinations to travelers for the first time since the emergence of the Corona virus pandemic. A year and a half ago.
In addition to reducing the number of places travelers will be required to quarantine in a hotel, the government has said it will recognize vaccination programs in dozens of other countries, according to the Associated Press.
In her most dramatic move, she said she would lift the hotel quarantine requirement for arrivals to England from 47 countries, including South Africa, Mexico and Thailand. Although the declaration pertains only to England, other countries in the United Kingdom – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – have generally followed suit.
After the change takes effect on Monday, only seven countries – Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela – will be on the so-called “red list”, which requires all passengers to enter a hotel quarantine for 11 days. A night costs 2,285 pounds ($3,100) for single travelers.
The changes mean that anyone from 47 countries removed from the red list will be exempted from this requirement.
However, they will still need to take a series of coronavirus tests before and after their arrival, and go into self-isolation for ten days unless the UK government recognizes the country’s vaccination status certificates and the vaccines used. Learn about AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, as well as their formulations such as AstraZeneca Covishield.
Another 37 countries and regions will be added to that list from Monday, reducing entry requirements from countries such as Brazil, Ghana, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.
The decision means that eligible fully vaccinated adults under the age of 18 who enter England from these locations will in effect be treated like fully vaccinated British nationals. They will no longer have to take a pre-departure test, no test on the eighth day after arrival and will be spared a period of self-isolation.
With the nights winding down early before the midterm break later this month, and winter fast approaching, the changes could give a boost to the travel industry that may have suffered the most during the pandemic.
“With the mid-term sun and winter approaching, we are making it easier for families and loved ones to reunite, by significantly reducing the number of destinations on the Red List, thanks in part to increased vaccination efforts around the world,” said Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps.
The government also reiterated its ambition to allow fully vaccinated eligible arrivals to use the lateral flow test, rather than the more expensive gold standard PCR test, by the end of the month. It said travelers will be able to verify that they have completed the lateral flow test by sending a photo.
British Airways announced that it will resume its services and increase the number of flights to a number of winter destinations that have been removed from the red list, such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.
“It’s finally like we’re seeing a light at the end of a very long tunnel,” said Sean Doyle, CEO of the company. “Britain will benefit from this significant reduction in Red List countries, and now is the time to turn our attention to eliminating testing for vaccinated travelers entirely to ensure we do not lose our place on the world stage.”