The UK government has made a number of changes to the traffic light travel list, including the removal of quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated arrivals from France.
France had been designated an “amber plus” country due to the prevalence of the Beta or South African variant of Covid-19, but is now being been upgraded to amber from 0400 on Sunday August 8.
The European countries of Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway are being moved from amber to green, meaning all travellers (regardless of vaccination status) need only take a Day 2 test after arrival into England. However the popular holiday destinations of Greece and Spain remain on the amber list for now.
India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE are moving from red to amber, meaning that arrivals will no longer need to quarantine for ten days in a government-approved hotel, but Georgia, Mexico, La Reunion and Mayotte are moving in the other direction from amber to the most strict red list.
Note that the cost of hotel quarantine for red list arrivals is also changing, with the price for single travellers increasing from £1,750 to £2,285 from August 12 – a second adult staying in the same room will be charged £1,430.
Commenting on the changes Sean Doyle, British Airways’ chairman and CEO said:
“This week we’ve witnessed emotional airport scenes as restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers from the US and EU were finally lifted, allowing loved ones to safely reunite.
“We welcome more low-risk countries being added to the Green list but urge the Government to go further, end uncertainty and allow people to benefit from our world-leading vaccination programme.
“The UK’s economic recovery is reliant on a thriving travel sector and right now we’re lagging behind Europe, with our more stringent testing requirements and a Red list significantly broader than our European peers.”
Meanwhile Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association, commented:
“We welcome today’s announcement on travel regulations. The introduction of more countries to the green and amber lists is a leap forward in the return of safe international travel.
“The Government has taken the right and strong decisions in abandoning plans for watchlists and removing France’s unique Amber Plus status. These were potentially calamitous moves which would have jeopardised the future of the whole travel and aviation supply chains.
“The opening of routes into the Middle East is of particular significance for business travel. It will take some time for business travel to return at scale, but this enables our sector to contribute to UK GDP and the international trading reputation of our country once more.
“We urge the Government to continue to help the travel sector to get back on its feet and to work to create international protocols that boost travellers’ confidence.”