Travel rules explained: Which countries are on the red list and when will PCR tests end?

7 October 2021, 21:51

Only seven countries are left on the red list.
Only seven countries are left on the red list. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The red travel list will be slashed down to seven countries from Monday - find out which destinations are left on the list and how changes will impact holidays.

The changes to the travel rules come after the Government previously scrapped the traffic light system in favour of a single list of red countries.

The new rules will be introduced from 4am on Monday 11 October and will see just seven countries left on the red list.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the measures would "mark the next step" as the country continued to make its way out of the Covid pandemic, providing "stability for passengers and industry while remaining on track to keep travel open for good".

Read more: Travel update: Red list slashed to just seven countries

Read more: Amber list scrapped as simplified travel rules come into force

Which countries are on the red list?

The Government announced on Thursday that 47 countries would be cut from the red list for travel, leaving only seven destinations under the category.

The countries left on the list are:

  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Haiti
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Venezuela

Do you still need a PCR test?

Plans are in place for day two PCR tests to be replaced with lateral flow tests by the end of October.

The Government said its "ambition" was for to have it in place "for people returning from half-term breaks by the end of the month".

Passengers will be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test as a minimum requirement to verify test result accuracy and keep prices down.

However, if individuals test positive then a free PCR test will be sent so they can confirm their result.

What do you need to do when arriving in England?

The Government is set to recognise vaccines for arrivals from a further 37 countries and territories including Brazil, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey.

Visitors from those countries will be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated UK residents, so long as they have not visited a red list country or territory in the 10 days before arriving in England.

The decision means fully vaccinated people entering the country from these locations will be exempt from quarantine, the pre-departure test and the day-eight post-arrival test.

Only a day two test will need to be taken upon arrival.

Does the rule change apply to the rest of the UK?

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all followed suit with the government's decision to cut down the red list.

Scottish transport minister Graeme Dey added that the red list would be "carefully monitored" and Scotland "will not hesitate to reintroduce restrictions" to protect public health in the nation.

Meanwhile, Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan said her Government had urged Mr Shapps to take a "more precautionary approach" to international travel but will keep her nation's restrictions in line with England's for reasons of practicality.

"We are concerned about the cumulative impact of the risk being carried in relation to opening up travel particularly from higher risk countries," she said.

Read more: Holiday bookings surge 'by 200 per cent' as rip-off Covid travel tests are scrapped

"This includes the radical reduction in the number of red list countries and the suggestion the UK Government is contemplating considerably relaxing the rules around quarantine from red list countries and introducing the use of lateral flow tests for returning travellers.

"All of these measures, when taken together, considerably increase the risk of a new variant being introduced into Wales and the UK."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A-level pupils are being warned grades will take a hit this year with thousands set to lose their university place

A-level students warned thousands will lose their university place on results day as grades set to take a hit

Sir Keir Starmer has set out Labour's £29 billion emergency cost of living plan

'Consumers won't pay a penny more': Keir Starmer reveals Labour's £29 billion emergency cost of living plan

A man died early Sunday near the US Capitol building after driving his car into a barricade and firing shots into the air before turning his gun on himself, police said

Man dies after crashing vehicle into US Capitol and opening fire before shooting himself

Schools across the country are holding 'crisis meetings' to consider three-day working weeks amid soaring costs

Schools hold 'crisis talks' to consider three-day weeks as teacher salaries and soaring energy bills cripple budgets

The Met Office have issued weather warnings for thunderstorms across the UK

End of Britain's bake off: Flash flood warnings in place as thunderstorms set to batter UK with torrential rain and hail

Ricardo Dos Santos slams Met after seven armed officer used for stop and search

'He was ready to smash the glass': Ricardo Dos Santos slams Met after 7 armed officers used during stop and search

The youngster was attacked by the Bull Mastiff-type animal (stock picture) in Liverpool.

Boy, 4, suffers life-changing injuries as he's mauled by dog in horrific attack 'at friend's house'

The woman was restrained on a Jet2 flight from Cyprus to Manchester.

Woman 'who stripped to underwear and tried to storm Jet2 cockpit' is restrained by hero dad

Eight people have been injured after a gunman opened fire at a bus stop in Jerusalem.

Gunman opens fire at bus stop in Jerusalem wounding eight people

Food campaigner Jack Monroe spoke with Ben Kentish on LBC.

Jack Monroe hits out at 'tone deaf' Govt and slams energy companies for 'playing us for fools'

Police were called to the incident in Nottingham Road, Ilkeston.

Mum and two kids left 'covered in blood' in brutal dog attack as cops arrest owner

Jerry Sadowitz had his second show cancelled by Edinburgh Fringe.

Comedian Jerry Sadowitz's Edinburgh Fringe show axed by venue bosses for 'unacceptable material'

Salman Rushdie has been taken off his ventilator after he was stabbed on stage in New York.

Salman Rushdie's injuries 'severe' but condition 'heading in right direction' after horror New York stabbing

Rishi Sunak has warned the stabbing of Salman Rushdie should act as a "a wake-up call for the West"

Salman Rushdie stabbing should be a 'wake up call for the West' says Sunak, as he calls for sanctions on Iran

A dog show has come under fire for going ahead in the blistering 35C heat

Dog show slammed for going ahead during 35C heatwave despite RSPCA health warning

Plaid Cymru leader calls for MP Jonathan Edwards to resign after assaulting wife

Plaid Cymru leader calls for MP to 'resign immediately' after receiving police caution for assaulting wife