UK relaxes rules for vaccinated travellers; minor benefit for long haul flights from India
- UK will no longer require pre-departure tests before arrival into England for fully vaccinated travellers coming from non-red list countries.
Britain is simplifying its system for international travel for vaccinated travellers coming in and out of the UK and scrapping its current three-tiered red-amber-green country list with a single red one, transport minister Grant Shapps said on Twitter on Friday, adding that these measures will be applicable from October 4. The latter move is set to benefit long haul flights between India and the UK.
From October 4, the current traffic light system of red, amber and green countries based on levels of Covid-19 risk in different countries will be scrapped and replaced with one red list only. UK will no longer require pre-departure tests before arrival into England for fully vaccinated travellers coming from non-red list countries.
For India, which is currently on the amber list, this will translate into reduced travel costs for the Indian diaspora vaccinated in the UK, as they will no longer be required to undergo compulsory PCR tests. However, those who have been inoculated with Covishield, the Serum Institute of India produced Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, have not been exempted from mandatory Covid-tests as the newly expanded list of countries whose vaccines are recognised in England does not include India.
Passengers who aren’t recognised as being fully vaccinated with authorised vaccines under the UK’s international travel rules, including India, will still have to take a pre-departure test, a day two and day eight PCR test, and self-isolate at their given address for 10 days upon entry.
The UK expanded the list of countries with recognised vaccines to include Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and 14 other countries, thus travellers from these countries will no longer need to be tested for Covid-19. In addition to this, eight countries—Turkey, Bangladesh, Egypt, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Kenya—will be removed from the red list from October 22.