Friday, October 22, 2021

UK eases rules for vaccinated travelers, India to benefit

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LONDON: The UK government announced on Friday a further relaxation of international travel rules for vaccinated people entering and leaving England, with long-haul routes between India and the UK to benefit.
As of October 4, the current red, amber and green country traffic light system based on Covid-19 risk levels will be phased out and replaced with a single red list.
Removing an amber list, which is the one India is currently on, means a reduced cost burden for travelers related to mandatory quarantines and PCR testing. As of October 4, travelers will no longer need pre-departure PCR testing to travel to England from abroad.
“Today’s changes mean a simpler and more straightforward system. One with less testing and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones, or conduct business around the world while providing a boosting the travel industry, “said UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. .
“Public health has always been at the heart of our international travel policy and with more than 44 million people fully vaccinated in the UK, we can now introduce a proportionate updated structure that reflects the new landscape,” he said.
In the latest update, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are among the eight destinations on the red list to be removed from the travel ban list as of next Wednesday.
Starting in late October, fully vaccinated passengers from non-red-listed countries will be able to replace the current mandatory requirement of the second-day PCR test with cheaper lateral flow tests. Anyone who tests positive will need to isolate and perform a free confirmatory PCR test, which will be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.
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