After the speculation in the news this week surrounding the travel red list, Grant Shapps announced on Twitter on the 28th of October that the red list will be reduced to zero at 4 am on Monday the 1st of November, but the red list will remain for emergencies.
The travel industry had been expecting a big change to the red list in the past few days, and though this is not the exact change everyone was expecting, it is a fantastic change, leaving the whole world open to UK travellers as 2022 approaches.
Earlier in October, 47 countries were removed from the red list after the amber list was abolished, leaving a mere 7 behind. Now, those 7 destinations are being removed and the red list will be reduced to zero on the 1st of November. The 7 destinations that will be removed from the red list are Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.
Though all of the current red list countries are being removed, Grant Shapps explained that the red list itself will still remain as a precautionary measure, with reviews happening every 3 weeks as previously.
“We will keep the red list in place as a precautionary measure to protect public health and are prepared to add countries and territories back if needed, as the UK’s first line of defence,” Shapps said.
“This is another step in the right direction for international travel with more good news today for passengers, businesses and the travel sector. We’re continuing to make great progress as we recover from the pandemic and today is another example of how far we have come.
“Whether it’s reuniting family members or making it easier for businesses to trade, the success of the vaccine rollout both at home and abroad has allowed us to reach this milestone. However, we must not be complacent and remain ready to spring into action and defend our hard-won gains if needed.”
The Department of Transport added, “Delta is now the dominant variant in most countries around the world. This means the risk of known variants entering the UK has reduced and the government can confidently remove these seven destinations from the red list, with decisions informed by UK Health Security Agency’s assessment.
“The data for all countries and territories will be kept under review, including the emergence of new variants, and the government will not hesitate to take action where the epidemiological picture changes.”
Removing all of these destinations from the red list opens the world up to travellers, removing for many some of the anxiety that came with destinations being off-limits as they were on the red list. This is an exciting and big step for covid travel, even with the precaution in place.
This also comes along with the news that on the 1st of November vaccinations from 30 more countries will be accepted, allowing vaccinated arrivals from those countries to enter without quarantine restrictions.
Plus, Scotland has, this week, decided to make the change from PCR to lateral flow day-2 testing requirements in line with England and Wales, that change going into place on the 31st of October.
We are incredibly excited to see all the fantastic holidays to come for these destinations as they come off the red list (don’t forget to check the destination requirements on the Foreign Travel Advice page before you book). So if you’re looking forward to booking your next great holiday, don’t forget to get in contact with a travel business registered with PTS offering complete financial protection through trust. Or, if you’d like assistance choosing a PTS member to book with, you can contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988.
And if you’d like to learn more about your consumer protection with PTS or how the Package Travel Regulations protect your holiday booking, check out our pages.