Red list UK: all the countries marked high risk after latest travel update - as Turkey and Pakistan removed

Turkey, Pakistan and the Maldives have been removed from the government’s red list in a major shake up of the traffic light system

The UK’s traffic light system is being simplified, and testing requirements for travel are being “made easier” according to the latest travel update from the government.

In a series of tweets, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the green and amber lists would be scrapped and replaced with a single red list of countries.

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Eight destinations have also been removed from the high risk red list, with the popular destinations of Turkey, Maldives and Pakistan among them.

Shapps also said requirements for a post-arrival PCR test would be replaced by lateral flow tests later in 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.

What are the new rules?

From October 4, there will be a single red list of countries from where travellers to England must stay in a Government-supervised hotel.

People who are fully vaccinated will no longer need a pre-departure test before returning from non-red list destinations, and from later in the month will be able to replace the day two PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow test.

In a statement, Mr Shapps said: “Today’s changes mean a simpler, 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 boost for the travel industry.

“Public health has always been at the heart of our international travel policy and with more than eight in 10 adults fully vaccinated in the UK, we are now able to introduce a proportionate updated structure that reflects the new landscape.”

What travel restrictions are in place for red countries?

From 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.

You also need to complete a passenger locator form, any time in the 48 hours before arival. On arrival, you must quarantine in a supervised hotel and take your two Covid tests.

Which countries are on the red list?

Bangladesh, Egypt, Kenya, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Turkey will move to the amber list at 4am Wednesday 22 September.

Turkey had been on the red list since the traffic light system began.

Red list countries have been deemed as presenting a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or due to them having a high prevalence of Covid-19.

These are the countries listed as of the latest update on 17 September:

  • 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

When is the next review of restrictions?

The travel reviews are scheduled to take place every three weeks, with the last update having taken place on Friday 17 September. The changes from the latest review will come into effect from 4am on Monday 4 October.

The next review of travel restrictions is expected to come on Thursday 7 or Friday 8 October.

Any changes that are announced will likely come into effect from 4am on the following Sunday or Monday.