Red list slashed as latest travel update comes into force

11 October 2021, 00:01

The Government has removed its advice not to travel to a number of long-haul flight destinations
The Government has removed its advice not to travel to a number of long-haul flight destinations. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Travel between the UK and dozens of long-haul destinations such as Mexico and South Africa opens up from 4am on Monday as nearly 50 countries are removed from the UK's red list.

A total of 47 locations will be taken off the red travel list, meaning arrivals from those locations will no longer need to spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel.

Just seven countries will remain on the list, all in Latin America - Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

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Meanwhile the foreign office has lifted its guidance advising against non-essential travel to a further 42 countries.

This follows the removal of similar travel advisories to 41 locations last week, which were in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The changes will make it easier for people to get travel insurance for trips to those destinations and are part of a new policy to stop advising Britons to avoid all but essential travel to non-red list countries on Covid-19 grounds except in "exceptional circumstances", such as if the local healthcare system is overwhelmed.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said this allows people to "exercise personal responsibility", while Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has claimed "restoring people's confidence in travel is key to rebuilding our economy".

Countries affected by both the easing of travel advisories and the reduction in the red list include Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal, the Philippines, South Africa and Thailand.

The travel industry welcomed the changes and reported a spike in demand from customers, after it blamed quarantine and testing requirements for limiting its recovery.

However people arriving from the limited number of remaining red list locations will still be subject to strict rules.

They will be required to enter a quarantine hotel at a cost of £2,285 for solo travellers.