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Red list set to be slashed as Govt lifts travel advice for 32 countries
6 October 2021, 19:28
The UK's red list is set to be slashed by the government on Thursday amid the relaxation of travel advice for 32 countries.
The government lifted its travel advice on Wednesday for 32 countries including Bangladesh, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana and Malaysia, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said.
It means people travelling to those countries will be covered by insurance firms again, with advice expected to be lifted for more areas in the coming days.
The relaxation of the rules comes as ministers are set to meet on Thursday to decide which countries will be removed from the red list, opening up travel to a number of long-haul destinations.
There are currently 54 countries on the red list, such as Mexico, Cuba, all of mainland South America, and southern and eastern Africa.
Anyone arriving in the UK from a red list destination must spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel, costing an extortionate £2,285 for solo travellers.
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Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, predicted that only a handful of "less visited areas" such as Afghanistan, Haiti and Somalia will remain on the red list, with the "blanket measures on Africa and South America removed".
He said this will be "a major step forward" as it means the government will "finally move to a policy of individual risk".
The reduction in red list countries comes amid an easing of the government's rules for travellers entering the UK.
From Monday, those who are double jabbed - and unvaccinated under 18s - from more than 50 countries and territories have been able to arrive without taking a pre-departure lateral flow test, a day-eight post-arrival PCR test, or self-isolating.
The full list of countries for which the FCDO has eased its travel advice are as follows:
- Tokelau and Niue
- Equatorial Guinea
- Marshall Islands
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Solomon Islands
- America Samoa
- French Polynesia