All countries which are still on the UK’s red list will be removed from 4am on Monday November 1, the Transport Secretary has announced.
Seven countries - Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela - remained on the list after it was dramatically reduced earlier this month, meaning travellers returning from these countries had to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.
Now the destinations have all been dropped from the category, but Grant Shapps has emphasised that the system will remain and that countries could be added again in the future depending on the risk of coronavirus.
In a series of tweets, he said: “All seven remaining countries on the red list will be REMOVED from Mon 1 Nov at 4am.
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“We can also confirm that from Monday, eligible travellers from over 30 new countries and territories including Peru & Uganda will be added to our inbound vax policy, bringing the total number of countries on this list to over 135.
“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.”
The Welsh Government has also confirmed that it will follow the same changes made in England to the travel red list.
Airport Operators Association chief executive Karen Dee welcomed the red list change, calling it a “significant step forward” to restoring international travel back to normal.
She said: “This is a welcome and a significant step forward to normalising international travel and should give people confidence to book.
“Recognising more countries’ vaccination programmes is also a vital step forward in restarting inbound tourism and business travel, which supported nearly half a million jobs in the UK tourism and hospitality sectors pre-pandemic.
“Ultimately, we need to return to a situation similar to prior to the pandemic, in which people can travel without further tests or forms to fill out. The UK and devolved governments should aim for this as soon as is safely possible.”
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