On the 17th of September, the government brought us some great travel news, including the updates to the traffic light system, PCR testing changes for vaccinated travellers, and of course, some excellent new destinations coming off the red list. Turkey, Oman, Kenya, Egypt, The Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh came off the red list at 4 am on the 22nd of September, though there has been some conflicting FCDO advice, this still opens travel up to some great destinations.
This essentially means that until the traffic light system changes on the 4th of October, these destinations now follow the rules of amber list countries. For vaccinated travellers, these are now as easy to travel to as green listers (you can find out more about the traffic light system requirements in our article).
Turkey, Oman, and Kenya have now had the FCDO warning removed, but the other five destinations on this list — Egypt, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh — are still marked with the FCDO advice against non-essential travel, despite moving off the red list.
This has caused some understandable concern among consumers. However, Egypt, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are still open to travel now that they are removed from the red list and many travel companies are excited to provide some awesome holidays for the October half-term and beyond. There are a few things to keep in mind that the FCDO advice affects – such as finding good travel insurance.
What Is The Difference Between the Red List and FCDO Advice?
When conflicting information in the rules turns up, it can be confusing, and many travel businesses see fewer consumers booking as a result. However, clarifying the difference between a country being on the red list and the FCDO advice is important to understand where is and isn’t safe to travel, and where is and isn’t open to travelling to. It will also affect some aspects of booking.
If a country is on the red list, these are the rules dictated by the government. This means that you are not allowed to travel to these countries if your reason is not deemed essential. Equally, with Egypt, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Oman, and Kenya removed from the red list and following amber list rules, you can travel to these countries for leisure or holiday rather than only essential travel.
The difference with Egypt, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh is the FCDO advice. FCDO advice is simply guidance that the government provides. This means that it may be trickier to find travel insurance but travel to the UK from the destinations still falls under amber list rules in terms of restrictions. An excellent travel agent will absolutely be able to help you source good travel insurance.
What to Keep in Mind When Booking A Holiday Around Conflicting FCDO Advice
Despite the FCDO advice against holiday travel to Egypt, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, moving off the red list is a well-considered and exciting change for travel. Egypt is already seeing a flood of bookings for some travel businesses, and we can easily see why. Maldives is also a well-loved destination for UK travellers and one that is open to UK holidaymakers, with some testing requirements.
We highly recommend checking out the entry requirements for a destination before booking a holiday and keeping up to date throughout the booking process so you can stay up to date on what you need to do. Regardless of the conflicting FCDO advice, this is always a good habit to keep during covid travel. The FCDO advice is still anticipated to change by some in and out of the travel industry, so keep an eye out. This will affect the kind of travel insurance you consider.
If you book with a good travel agent, this is an area in which they can advise you on while providing other great protection and advice, to ensure your holiday is still protected thoroughly without unnecessary stress. If you’d like to learn more about the importance of travel insurance and how to find good travel insurance, you can check out our other articles for more details.
If you’re looking forward to booking a holiday to Egypt, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, or Bangladesh, booking with a trusted travel agent and Protected Trust Services (PTS) member can make a world of difference for any booking.
Even if you’re booking a holiday for Turkey, Kenya, or Oman, which are coming off the red list without any FCDO warnings, booking your holiday with an expert can ensure that everything is taken into consideration stress-free.
Not only will an agent be able to give you expert advice, but they will also be keeping up to date on destination requirements, excellent rates, government advice, and the perfect holiday packages for you. PTS members also provide some of the best travel protection across the UK, so every aspect of your holiday will be secure.
When you’re ready to book that fantastic getaway, don’t forget to get in contact with an awesome PTS member to book with complete protection, or, if you need assistance picking which of the fabulous PTS members to book with, you can contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988.
And if you’d like to learn more about consumer protection at PTS and how your holiday is protected by the Package Travel Regulations, don’t forget to check out our page.