Half-term holidays here we come! Boris Johnson is set to slash red list ‘to just nine’ countries with Brazil, Mexico and South Africa all expected to be opened up for quarantine-free travel
- Fully-jabbed travellers will not have to quarantine on their return to the UK
- The move is set to be announced on Thursday in time for October half term
- Only nine countries are set to remain on red list requiring quarantine hotels
Boris Johnson is set to slash the red list to just nine countries from 54 this week, opening up dozens more destinations for quarantine-free travel.
South Africa, Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia are among the countries where fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to stay in quarantine hotels upon their return to the UK.
The move is set to be announced in time for half-term holidays and will likely result in a surge of bookings, boosting airlines and travel companies that have been brought to their knees during the pandemic.
Boris Johnson is set to slash the red list to just nine countries from 54 this week, opening up dozens more destinations for quarantine-free travel
Brazil (pictured) is among the countries where fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to stay in quarantine hotels upon their return
Britain’s current hotel quarantine policy for higher risk red list countries costs £2,285 per adult, deterring global travel.
Travel rules are already being relaxed from Monday with the amber list being scrapped, and fully vaccinated travellers no longer needing to take a Covid test before arriving from a country not on the red list.
The government has said that from later in October, arrivals in England will no longer have to take a PCR test two days after arrival and can instead opt for the cheaper lateral flow test.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, Thailand is a ‘more marginal call’ on whether it will remain on the red list, but Cape Verde is also expected to be given the green light.
The changes are expected to be announced on Thursday after a review of the current list.
The move is set to be announced in time for half-term holidays and will likely result in a surge of bookings to holiday destinations such as South Africa (pictured)
Travellers could still be subject to local Covid rules when arriving in their destination, but quarantine hotels on their return to the UK will be largely removed.
A Whitehall source said: ‘We are expecting sharp reductions in the red list.
‘It could be as few as nine countries left on the list. Targeted quarantine will remain, but in fewer places.’
The source said ministers still want some restrictions in place to guard against possible Covid variants entering the country, but the government wants to avoid an ‘unnecessarily restricted’ travel policy.
Travellers arriving from red list countries have to self-isolate even if they have been double vaccinated.
Breaking the rules can land you with a huge £10,000 fine.
The easing of restrictions marks a shift in the Government’s approach to foreign travel and will be met with approval from industry bodies and Tory backbenchers.
Theresa May warned this summer that Britain was ‘falling behind the rest of Europe in our decisions to open up’.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa pleaded with Boris Johnsonto be removed from the red list
Countries on the UK’s red list have also lobbied to be removed, with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa urging Johnson to change his country’s status.
He said: ‘We hope for a positive outcome when the subject comes up for review in the coming days by their scientists.’
It comes as Britain’s Covid cases are starting to fall again, with new daily infections dropping week-on-week today for the third day in a row.
Department of Health bosses posted 30,301 new coronavirus cases today, down 6.7 per cent on the 32,468 recorded last Saturday.
And the number of people falling victim to the disease is continuing to fall, with 121 new deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test recorded today.
This was down 4.7 per cent on last Saturday’s total of 127 and marked the sixth day in a row fatalities have fallen.
Meanwhile, hospitalisations caused by the virus also continued to drop off, with 768 people admitted on Monday — the latest date data is available for. It was down 3.3 per cent on the week before.
The figures come after health secretary Sajid Javid today said care home workers who refuse to take the Covid vaccine should ‘get out and get another job’.
In a stern warning to vaccine refuseniks, Mr Javid said those working in care home with some of the most vulnerable people in the country ‘should get vaccinated’.
He also brushed off appeals from providers to ‘pause’ the legal requirement for staff in England to be fully vaccinated by November 11, amid warnings some homes will be unable to cope if workers are forced to leave.
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