International Travel Update

Department for Transport written statement – made on 29th October 2021.

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Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Secretary of State for Transport

Red List Review

The Government has conducted a further review of the red list under our new and simplified system of international travel. From 4am on Monday 1 November, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela will be removed from the red list.

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.

We will keep the red list in place as a precautionary measure to protect public health, and we are prepared to add countries and territories if needed as the UK’s first line of defence if the situation changes.

Expansion of the Inbound Vaccination Policy

From 4am on Monday 1 November, we will expand our inbound vaccination policy to include eligible fully vaccinated passengers who have not been in a red list country in the ten days before their arrival into the UK, to over 30 countries and territories:

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Cambodia
  • Costa Rica
  • Djibouti
  • Eswatini
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Madagascar
  • Mauritius

This will also include all British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, who previously qualified for fully vaccinated travel as part of the UK overseas vaccination policy.

Our inbound vaccination policy now covers over 135 countries and territories, and eligible fully vaccinated passengers and under 18s resident in those countries will be treated the same as those vaccinated in the UK. Eligible fully vaccinated passengers who have not been in a red list country in the ten days before their arrival into the UK will no longer need to take a pre-departure test before their departure, a post-arrival test on day 8 or self-isolate upon their arrival.

Whilst public health is a devolved matter, UK Government works closely with the devolved administrations on any changes to international travel and aims to ensure a whole UK approach. The devolved administrations will be aligning to the policies set out in this statement.

Finally, since 4am on 24 October, eligible fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18s arriving in England have been able to use a cheaper lateral flow device test post-arrival, with a free confirmatory PCR test if they receive a positive result. The devolved administrations have also confirmed that such passengers arriving in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will from 31 October be able to choose to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test.