Simpler international travel rules announcement

Changes to international travel rules announced on Friday 17th September by Grant Schnapps are a welcome simplification to the existing regulations that our business travel consultants work through daily with our clients.

It will open more of the world to vaccinated passengers and will increase customers confidence, a positive step forward. 

It means that if you are fully vaccinated, for most countries in Europe you will be able to travel without a test before and without a test before coming back. 

Note that the rules announced on Friday apply to England, and as travel is a devolved matter, it will be up to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to consider these changes.  Northern Ireland & Scotland have already announced it will also merge its green and amber list in line with changes made by the UK government.  But testing changes have not yet been implemented and are under discussion. 

It is important for business travellers in UK and Ireland that there is a collaborative approach taken by all governments to ensure that these changes are, in fact simplified not more confusion by different approaches.

High level Summary

New simplified travel system:  the existing amber and green lists will be merged to one low risk country list, and red list will remain

  • Simpler cheaper rules for fully vaccinated travellers
    • Fully vaccinated passengers will no longer have to take a PCR test before travelling back to England from low risk countries
    • Fully vaccinated passengers will be able to replace day 2 PCR tests with cheaper lateral flow tests from the end of October and no longer need to take pre-departure tests
  • 8 destinations removed from the red list from 22nd September such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey
  • Government recognises full vaccinations from a further 17 countries and territories including Australia, Israel, Japan and Singapore

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