Today (7 October) the UK government has announced another major shake up to the UK’s travel guidance, removing nearly 50 countries and territories from the red list.
The move comes just three days after the UK’s traffic light system was simplified, and testing requirements made easier, as new travel rules came into effect on 4 October.
The new red list consists of only seven destinations, the simplified red list comes into effect from 4am on Monday, 11 October.
So which countries are on the red list following the latest update - and what are the new rules? This is what you need to know.
Which countries are on the red list?
From October 11, only Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela will be considered red list countries.
Holidaymakers and other arrivals from these countries will still be required to quarantine for ten days in a Covid hotel, costing £2,285 for a single adult and £1,430 for a second adult.
Countries currently on the red list, but removed as of Monday include Turkey, South Africa and India.
Scotland has announced it will follow suit, though “will not hesitate to reintroduce restrictions” if the coronavirus outlook deteriorates.
What are the new rules?
Since October 4, there has been a single red list of countries. Travellers arriving into the UK from these countries must stay in a Government-supervised hotel.
People who are fully vaccinated - and unvaccinated under 18s - are no longer required to take a pre-departure test before returning from non-red list destinations.
Fully vaccinated travellers are not required to do the day-eight test, or to self isolate at home after travel. They are required to do the day-two test after arriving back in the UK
From 11 October, the government has also stated passengers will be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test as a minimum requirement to verify test result accuracy and keep prices down once Day 2 tests switch to lateral flow later this month, followed by a free PCR if positive.
What travel restrictions are in place for red countries?
Since Monday 4 October at 4am, if you’ve been in a red list country in the past 10 days you’ll only be allowed to enter the UK if you’re a British or Irish national, or if you have residence rights. This is regardless of vaccination status.
Before travelling to the UK, you must take a pre-departure Covid test in the three days before travelling, and book a quarantine hotel package, including two Covid tests.
Fully vaccinated people and unvaccinated under 18s from more than 50 countries are also now able to enter the UK without a negative pre-departure lateral flow test. They no longer need a day-eight PCR test, and don’t have to self-isolate at home.
You also need to complete a passenger locator form, any time in the 48 hours before arrival.
On arrival, you must quarantine in a supervised hotel and take your two Covid tests.
When is the next review of restrictions?
The latest travel review took place on October 7, the reviews take place on three-weekly intervals.
Therefore, the next update should be expected towards the end of the month, on October 28 or 29.
Any changes that are announced will likely come into effect from 4am on the following Sunday or Monday.