Strict hotel quarantine rules for Red List countries for arrivals could be dropped by the UK government, potentially saving travelers up to Â£ 2,285 per person.
Current regulations state that anyone arriving in the UK from Red List countries must self-isolate in government approved hotels for 10 days.
Expensive PCR testing for fully vaccinated passengers is expected to be replaced with lateral flow testing in time for the schools midterm break, while pre-departure testing for the vaccinated will be phased out from October 4.
Several countries were taken off the red list last week, including Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Kenya, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. However, there are still 54 countries on the list, including many South American and African destinations and popular beach resorts like Mexico, Costa Rica, and Cape Verde.
The decision to end the quarantine for Red List arrivals follows a similar move by the Irish government which announced it was abandoning the policy.
It has been backed by travel experts who have insisted the strict rules be relaxed for some time. Travel consultant Paul Charles of The PC Agency posted on social media: â90 people quarantined at hotel in #Ireland were rightly able to leave last night as #Ireland immediately shut down to its red list policy. So why can’t the UK do it now exactly the same? What is its rationale?
Encouraging to hear that @transportgovuk is now backing the removal of the UK hotel quarantine. Hopefully that happens this week – Bold Ireland acted immediately yesterday to cut its entire redlist and #UKGov is not far behind. “
However, the head of an organization representing countries that remain in the red zone said more needs to be done and quickly.
Danny Callaghan, Managing Director of the Latin American Travel Association ( lata.travel ), added: “While the changes announced around testing are a step in the right direction, we still find most of Latin America – indeed most long-haul travel – blocked on the redlist.
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“How are long-haul carriers supposed to get out of this mess, which appears to be the Treasury’s expectation? With the holidays over, no government support, and the continued shutdown of most of our industry, we’re headed towards a bloodbath job, with a disconnected government that has no real strategy beyond the meaningless headlines.
“How did the UK manage to fall so far behind the EU in opening up, when our vaccine program was the envy of the EU just a few months ago? Where is the vaccine dividend? Where is the Brexit dividend? I can’t begin to express my disgust at the treatment of Latin American countries.
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