Red List slashed – What it means to you

The Department for Transport has confirmed the UK government’s red list has been slashed from 54 countries to just 7.

The countries that remain on the red list are Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, tweeted “The measures announced today mark the next step to open up travel and provide stability for passengers and industry while remaining on track to keep travel open for good.”

So, we must now wait to see what the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) advice is for the countries that have come off the red list because it may be that the advice against travel changes straight away, or that there is a bit of a lag as we saw with the Maldives recently. Sometimes FCDO restrictions remain in place due to ongoing Covid risk or other non-COVID related concerns.

The other good news for fully vaccinated travellers is the move to Lateral Flow tests on day 2 of return. These are cheaper and quicker and should have a significant impact on the cost of travel.

What we don’t know yet.

The date when lateral flow Covid tests will replace PCR tests is yet to be confirmed. At the government’s last update on international travel, it said this change would be introduced by the end of October.

However, the government confirmed that passengers will be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test as a minimum requirement to verify the accuracy of its results and that if positive the follow up PCR test will be free.

Grant Shapps said ministers ‘anticipate’ the change coming into force before the half-term break and said his colleagues at the Department of Health and the Home Office were ‘working extremely hard on getting this done. We know obviously the half-term is coming up and my advice to people would be just to hold off.’

Hopefully, the change will be announced in the next few days so that holidaymakers don’t have to ‘hold off’ much longer!

So, what are the key things to note before booking your next holiday?

Whilst your holiday destination of choice may now have been removed from the red list it is still important to understand the entry requirements of that destination as there may be restrictions that you need to know.

It is also important that the FCDO has also given guidance that travel is allowed to your chosen destination. Should you travel to a country which is not on the red list, but the FCDO guidance is for ‘essential travel only’ you will almost certainly invalidate any travel insurance you may have.

Lastly, we should all remember that Covid-19 is still with us, so comprehensive Covid travel insurance is essential. Indeed, many destinations will not allow entry unless you have such cover.

How I can help.

The world is opening up to holiday travel, which is what we have all been waiting for, but travel from now on will not be the same as pre-pandemic times. There are a lot more considerations to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

As a Personal Travel Consultant, I can help through all these considerations so that you get the holiday you’ve been waiting for and deserve.

Remember, my holiday planning service is free – you only pay for the holiday you book.

So, contact me if you would like to discuss your next holiday adventure




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