England on Monday further relaxed international travel to and from the country after ditching its traffic light system to replace it with a simpler red-list of countries and territories.
“From 4 am today (Monday), the UK’s new travel system comes into force with countries and territories categorized as either red or the rest of the world,” a government statement said.
According to the announcement, “eligible fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under-18s” returning England from countries not on the red list will no longer be required to undergo pre-departure or 8th day tests, which were compulsory before. They will not need to go on a 10-day self-isolation either.
“The new rules also mean that from later in October eligible fully vaccinated passengers with an approved vaccine and recognized certificate from a country not on the red list will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England,” the statement added.
“We are accelerating towards a future where travel continues to reopen safely and remains open for good, and today’s rule changes are good news for families, businesses and the travel sector,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
He said: “Our priority remains to protect public health but, with more than 8 in 10 people now fully vaccinated, we are able to take these steps to lower the cost of testing and help the sector to continue in its recovery.”
The statement added that England is “expanding our vaccinated policy to a further 18 countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Canada.”
The recognized vaccines are Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca (including Covishield), Moderna and Janssen (J&J).
Those eligible must have a “document from a national or state-level public health authority that includes certain information including name, date of birth and vaccination details.”
Residents of countries “not yet part of the inbound policy,” are still required to “take a pre-departure test, PCR tests for day 2 and day 8 after arrival, and self-isolate for 10 days, with the option to test to release after 5 days.”