UK scraps amber list as travel rules simplified

The UK’s traffic light system for international travel has been replaced with just two categories: countries on the red list and everywhere else.

Under the simplified rules, most fully vaccinated travellers and eligible under-18s returning from non-red list countries and territories will no longer have to take a Covid test before setting off for the UK, a day 8 test or enter a 10-day self-isolation period.

And from later in October, fully vaccinated passengers with an approved vaccine and recognised certificate from a country not on the red list will be able to replace their day 2 Covid test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England.

Those coming from red list destinations must still pay to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

When the red list is updated later this week it may be cut from 54 to as few as nine, with South Africa and Mexico among the places expected to become open to quarantine-free travel, Sky News reports.

The government may also expand the list of countries whose vaccination certificates are recognised by the UK.

“We are accelerating towards a future where travel continues to reopen safely and remains open for good, and today‚Äôs rule changes are good news for families, businesses and the travel sector,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

“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.”