Covid travel rules UK: new guidance on Covid tests explained - and which countries are on the red list

The traffic light system has been replaced by a single, reduced, “red list” of destinations

The UK’s traffic light system for travel has now been scrapped, with just the red list remaining.

But what do the changes mean, how will Covid testing work and which countries remain on the red list?

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What are the new travel rules?

The traffic light system has been replaced by a single, reduced, “red list” of destinations, from where travellers arriving in the UK will still have to quarantine in a Government-supervised hotel.

Fully vaccinated residents and unvaccinated under 18s from more than 50 countries and territories can now enter the UK without needing to complete a pre-departure lateral flow test, take a day-eight post-arrival PCR test, or self-isolate at home, with just a single day-two post-arrival test needed.

However, people arriving from a red tier destination will still be required to spend 11 nights at a quarantine hotel which costs £2,285 for solo travellers.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are accelerating towards a future where travel continues to reopen safely and remains open for good, and today’s rule changes are good news for families, businesses and the travel sector.

“Our priority remains to protect public health but, with more than eight in 10 people now fully vaccinated, we are able to take these steps to lower the cost of testing and help the sector to continue in its recovery.”

Mr Shapps previously said the change in measures were intended to strike the “right balance“, simplifying the current travel system while also managing the public health risk “as No.1 priority”.

Which countries are on the red list?

A number of countries currently remain on the red list, although some destinations have been rumoured to be removed from the list at the next travel review.

These are the countries and territories currently on the red list:

  • Afghanistan
  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Congo (Democratic Republic)
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Eritrea
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • French Guiana
  • Georgia
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Indonesia
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Réunion
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe