UK to lift travel advice for 51 countries and territories

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The Government is lifting its advice against non-essential travel to a further 51 countries and territories due to the coronavirus pandemic (Nick Ansell/PA) (PA Archive)
The Government is lifting its advice against non-essential travel to a further 51 countries and territories due to the coronavirus pandemic (Nick Ansell/PA) (PA Archive)

The Government is lifting its advice against non-essential travel to a further 51 countries and territories due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the decision allows people to “exercise personal responsibility”.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will lift its advice for the Bahamas, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Jamaica, Martinique, Palau, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Western Sahara on Friday.

Advice for a further 42 locations will be lifted on Monday, including Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Indonesia, Mexico, the Seychelles South Africa and Thailand.

These updates make travel abroad easier

Liz Truss, Foreign Secretary

It follows the removal of travel advisories to 32 countries on Wednesday, and is 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.

This makes it simpler for people visiting those locations to obtain travel insurance.

Ms Truss said: “These updates make travel abroad easier – boosting trade, tourism and reuniting friends and families.

“I am delighted that the safe reopening of travel allows people to exercise personal responsibility and visit more destinations across the globe.”

It was announced on Thursday that 47 countries such as South Africa, Mexico and Thailand will be removed from England’s red list at 4am on Monday.

That means people will be able to arrive in England from those locations without spending 11 nights in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £2,285 for solo travellers.

Only seven countries will remain on the red list.

They are Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted on Friday the previously-announced policy of allowing eligible fully-vaccinated arrivals to use a cheaper and quicker lateral flow test for their post-arrival test – rather than the PCR version – will be in place by the end of the month.

No precise date has been set but Mr Shapps said the goal is to have made the switch by this month’s half-term break.

Asked if he was referring to English schools’ half-term holidays around October 22, he told Times Radio: “Yes, that’s right, October 22. That’s the goal and, as I say, the testing companies are gearing up to do that.

“I’ve spoken to the airports including Heathrow and they even have tests available as you walk through the airport, so you could be done and dusted before you even get home with these things, which will be a massive improvement to having to send off PCR tests to labs and waiting for the results and all the costs involved.”

British Airways reported a five-fold increase in searches for holidays on its website in the hours after the red-list reduction was announced, compared with the same period during the previous day.

Cancun, Cape Town and Johannesburg were among the most popular destinations.

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