What are the new changes in UK travel procedures?

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Travellers wearing face coverings with their luggage in the almost deserted departures hall at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport in west London on December 21, 2020, as a string of countries around the world banned travellers arriving from the UK, due to the rapid spread of a new, more-infectious coronavirus strain. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was to chair a crisis meeting Monday as a growing number of countries blocked flights from Britain over a new highly infectious coronavirus strain the UK said was "out of control". ( Kate Green - Anadolu Agency )

The UK is changing its travel procedures Monday Oct 4th. Learn about all the new changes here.

Travel rules and procedures have undergone many changes ever since COVID-19 hit the world. The traffic light system and testing rules have made planning a trip abroad difficult.

But Monday October 4 sees a major shake-up in rules set to remain in place until the New Year, says Sky News. Here is all you need to know.

Which travel rules are changing this week?

Traffic light system

From Monday 4 October, the traffic light system of red, amber and green countries will be replaced with a single red list.

PCR tests

Fully vaccinated individuals will no longer need to take a pre-departure test for travelling into England from countries on the non-red lists.

Then, at the end of October, day-two PCR test will be replaced with a cheaper lateral flow test.

Nonetheless, those who are unvaccinated will still have to pay for PCR tests.

Sajid Javid has expressed his wish to get rid of PCR tests as soon as possible. (Anadolu)


Lateral flow tests

The pre-arrival lateral flow test required by all Britons returning to the UK will be scrapped this week.

However, the government is maintaining a 10-day quarantine on the unvaccinated despite which country they arrive from. It does so in hoped of motivating people to receive their jabs ASAP.

Which countries will still be on the red list?

Anyone returning from a red list country will also still be required to pay £2,285 to quarantine at a government-approved hotel.

The red list as it stands:

Afghanistan Angola Argentina Bolivia
Botswana Brazil Burundi Cape Verde
Chile Colombia Congo (Democratic Republic) Costa Rica
Cuba Dominican Republic Ecuador Eritrea
Eswatini Ethiopia French Guiana Georgia
Guyana Haiti Indonesia Lesotho
Malawi Mayotte Mexico Mongolia
Montenegro Mozambique Myanmar Namibia
Nepal Panama Paraguay Peru
Philippines Réunion Rwanda Seychelles
Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa Sudan
Suriname Tanzania Thailand Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia Uganda Uruguay Venezuela
Zambia Zimbabwe    

What happens if a traveller tests positive when returning to the UK?

Anyone who tests positive will need to isolate and take a free confirmatory PCR test.

This would then be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants, reports Sky News.

Will the new rules apply to the whole of the UK?

The travel changes will only apply to England.

The Scottish government will still require a pre-departure test before returning from non-red list areas. (Regardless of vaccination).

The Welsh government remains undecided.

Do these rules apply to those leaving the UK?

No. The rules will only apply to those getting back into the UK.

Passengers who change flights or international trains during their journey may soon be able to follow the measures associated with the country they originally departed from, instead the countries they have been through as part of their journey.

A date for this has not yet been confirmed, but it may be implemented towards the end of October.

Source: Sky News

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