Image by Michael Gaida

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced a slew changes to the UK’s current international travel rules to make it easier for UK travellers.

In a series of tweets, Mr Shapps announced that people who are double-vaccinated will no longer have to carry out pre-departure Covid tests before returning to England from non-red list countries.

PCR tests for travel will be phased out by the end of October, which will allow travellers to replace the second-day test with a cheaper lateral flow test.

The travel secretary has also confirmed that the government is opting for a “simplified” system for international travel. From 4 October the government is scrapping the traffic light system and introducing one red list and simplified measures for the rest of the world.

Eight countries will be moved from the red list from 4am on Wednesday 22 September, including Bangladesh, Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Maldives, Oman, Sri Lanka, and Kenya.

From 4am Monday 4 October people can travel to all non-red list countries if they have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas. Travellers will need to book and pay for a day 2 Covid-19 test to be taken in England before or on day 2 of arrival to the UK and complete a passenger locator form.

Travellers do not need to:

  • Take a pre-departure test
  • Take a day 8 to Covid-19 test
  • Quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days after you arrive in England