Plans to scrap the red list completely could be revealed in the latest travel announcement, which is expected later today.

Only seven countries, all in Latin America, remain on the red list after it was dramatically cut earlier in October.

Hotel quarantine would come to an end if the changes come into effect, opening up foreign travel completely for the first time since the pandemic began.

Currently Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela are on the government’s red list; there is widespread speculation that they will all be taken off the list following an update on Thursday.

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The announcement will only apply to England, but the devolved administrations have recently implemented Westminster’s changes to international travel rules.

International arrivals Heathrow Airport
Rules are set to change for international travel again

This would bring the UK into line with most of the rest of Europe.

Travellers arriving from a red list destination are currently required to spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £2,285.

The policy was introduced as part of measures to reduce the risk from arriving travellers infected with coronavirus.

But it has been blamed for contributing to UK travel firms struggling to recover from the pandemic.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “There’s no justification now for any country to be on a red list or for hotel quarantine to be in existence.

“There have been no new variants of concern since May and countries are now learning that blanket border measures, such as blocking whole countries, don’t work.

“The best approach is to check for an individual’s vaccine status and ensure they are up to date if they want to travel without restrictions.

“It’s encouraging that the UK Government have finally cottoned on to this.

“The current seven countries on the red list, such as Panama and Colombia, will be delighted if they are taken off it later today.”

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