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UK Simplifies International Covid-19 Travel Rules

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The UK put into force on Monday a new two-category set of international travel rules in efforts to simplify its formerly used “traffic light” system used to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Under the new regulations, countries and regions previously on the amber and green lists have been merged into the “rest of the world” category and areas with high Covid risk will remain on the “red list”.

Changes have also been made to the testing requirements when fully vaccinated travelers enter England from a non-red list countryWhat a traveler needs to do when they travel to England depends on whether they qualify as fully vaccinated or not.

Greece for example is now on the “rest of the world” list, which means that vaccinated UK-bound travelers from the country are allowed admission with the presentation of the EU Digital Covid Certificate (EU DCC) which proves completed vaccination.

The UK is “accelerating towards a future where travel continues to reopen safely and remains open for good,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, adding that the change was “good news for families, businesses and the travel sector”.

“Our priority remains to protect public health but, with more than eight in ten people now fully vaccinated, we are able to take these steps to lower the cost of testing and help the sector to continue in its recovery,” the minister added.

According to the announcement issued on Monday by the UK’s Department of Transport, simpler rules including just a single post-arrival test needed now apply to fully vaccinated travelers from over 50 countries and territories.

The UK’s simplified travel system also means that fully vaccinated passengers and under-18s returning from over 50 countries and territories not on the red list will not be required to complete a pre-departure test, a day 8 test, or enter a 10-day self-isolation period.

Later this month, vaccinated passengers with an approved vaccine and recognized certificate from a country not on the red list will be able to replace their Day 2 test with a cheaper test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England. Anyone testing positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test at no additional cost which would be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants, the announcement said .

For details on England’s new international travel rules, press here.

It is reminded that from October 1, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can enter the UK with a valid passport only after the government stopped accepting national identity (ID) cards as a travel documents.

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