Global Edition

UK government ends traffic lights system for international travel

12.20pm 4th October 2021 - Travel

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has hailed the end of the traffic light system as a huge step towards travel remaining “open for good”.

The UK government’s designation of amber and green categories of countries for overseas travel officially came to end today (4 October) with just the red list of countries remaining, which still require arrivals to go through 10 days of hotel quarantine.

“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 Shapps.

The streamlined system also now allows fully vaccinated passengers to return to the UK without having to take a pre-departure test from all non-red list countries.

While the day two PCR test is set to be replaced by a cheaper lateral flow test later this month, with the government aiming to have it in place for when people return from half-term breaks.

The UK government’s changes also mean fully vaccinated travellers from more than 50 eligible countries and territories now require just a single post-arrival test. Another 18 countries have been added to this list, including the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Canada.

“Our priority remains to protect public health but, with more than eight 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,” added Shapps.

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