The relaxation of the rules will help vaccinated people entering and leaving England, benefiting long-haul routes between India and the UK.
No more traffic light system:
The UK will remove the current traffic light system of red, yellow and green countries based on COVID-19 risk from October 4th and keep the red list for Covid-19 hotspots in the world.
This new two-tier system is to remain in place until the end of the year, with a further review planned for the beginning of the new year
India will benefit from the new rules as it removes the yellow list and reduces the burden on travelers – especially the Indian diaspora vaccinated in the UK.
However, an expanded list of countries whose vaccines are recognized in England does not include India, which means that Indians vaccinated with Covishield – the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India – will continue to undergo a PCR test Must undergo prior to departure and further testing on landing in the UK.
Starting October 4th, travelers from 17 additional countries with appropriate vaccines including Japan, Singapore and Malaysia will no longer need to do pre-departure PCR testing when traveling to England.
From the end of October, fully vaccinated passengers from countries that are not on the Red List can replace the currently mandatory day two PCR test with cheaper lateral flow tests. Anyone who tests positive must isolate and run a free confirmatory PCR test that is genomically sequenced to identify new variants.
Testing requirements will be relaxed for fully vaccinated comers to England from open countries who no longer need to take a COVID-19 test prior to travel. Travelers will still need a test after landing, but starting in late October, an inexpensive lateral flow test will suffice instead of a more sensitive – but more expensive – PCR test.
âToday’s changes mean a simpler, less complicated system. One with fewer tests and lower costs that allows more people to travel, see their loved ones or do business around the world, while also giving the travel industry a boost, âsaid UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
“Public health has always been at the center of our international travel policy and with over 44 million fully vaccinated people in the UK we are now able to put in place a relatively updated structure that reflects the new landscape,” he said.
The tests for unvaccinated passengers from non-Red countries include tests before departure and PCR tests on day 2 and day 8. Passengers who are not recognized as fully vaccinated with approved vaccines and certificates under international travel regulations in England, including India, must continue to perform a test before departure, a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 and self-isolate given address for 10 days after entry.
All passengers are still required to complete the mandatory passenger locator form prior to travel.
To boost tourism, the UK said it will recognize vaccinations in 17 more countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea. Previously, it had only recognized shots made in the UK, the US and the European Union.
In the latest update, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are among eight destinations on the Red List that were removed from the travel ban list starting next Wednesday. Turkey, the Maldives, Egypt, Oman and Kenya are the others to be removed from the red list.
“Today we have simplified the travel rules to make them easier to understand and follow, open up tourism and reduce the cost of traveling abroad,” said UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
“As the global vaccination effort accelerates and more people are protected from this terrible disease, it is right that our rules and regulations keep pace,” he said.
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