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UK Red list slashed to just seven countries as Covid travel rules lift further

The world is almost fully reopened for double-jabbed Brits after the red list was slashed from 54 to just seven countries.

Brazil, South Africa, India and Turkey are all back on the agenda for British holidaymakers in one of the biggest relaxations of international travel rules yet.

Only Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela will remain on the red list from 4am on Monday.

The changes will allow friends and families kept apart by the barrier of expensive hotel quarantine to finally be reunited.

With testing requirements eased for vaccinated travellers and the traffic light system scrapped, it means international travel is almost back to pre-pandemic normal.

It’s the second holidays boost to be announced today after the Foreign Office acted to ensure travellers can get insurance for all destinations not on the red list.

The department has stripped 32 countries of advice warning people against all but essential travel despite them not being on the red list.

Insurance companies were using the advice to decline coverage requests despite the fact there were no quarantine requirements in place for them.

Locals and tourists enjoy the beach in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, on January 12, 2010
The beaches of Rio de Janeiro are once again a viable destination for British holidaymakers (Picture: AFP)

Both changes will be seen as a huge boon for the travel sector with October half-term round the corner.

The government is pursuing a strategy of getting international travel close to pre-pandemic rules for double-vaccinated people while maintaining tight restrictions on countries of concern and unvaccinated people.

Since Monday, people who have had two doses only need to complete one lateral flow test two days after arriving back in the UK.

There is no longer a requirement for double-jabbed tourists to have an expensive PCR test when they come home, or prove they don’t have Covid before leaving.

With testing relaxed, Covid travel documents well-established and the red list reduced, fully protected people are more or less free to go where they please, local restrictions permitting. 

At the same time, ministers are maintaining tight control on countries where variants of concerns are spreading.

 Passengers arriving from Great Britain leave Ibiza Airport
Brit tourists are free to visit more countries now than at any point since the pandemic started (Picture: Getty)

There will still be stringent quarantine requirements on people turning from red list destinations.

Travellers are required to pay £2,285 for a single adult to stay in a managed hotel for 11 nights, with extra costs for other adults and children.

Restrictions have also been tightened on unvaccinated tourists, with mandatory 10 day home quarantine and PCR tests required for all destinations, regardless of what list they are on.


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