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Saturday, October 16, 2021

United Kingdom – Coronavirus. Tests and quarantine. Changes to the entry rules

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There will be changes to the rules for coming to England. From October 4, the current “traffic light system” – with green, yellow and red country lists – will be replaced by one red list – announced on Friday British Transport Minister Grant Shapps. People coming to the UK from outside the red list will not have to take pre-border tests.

All sites that are not on the Red List of High-Risk Countries will be automatically considered safe. Also, from October 4, travelers will not be required to test for coronavirus before coming to England from abroad.

Coronavirus in England – change of entry regulations

From the end of October, fully vaccinated passengers from non-red list countries will be able to replace PCR-type tests with cheaper antigen tests. Anyone found positive will need to be quarantined at home and have a free PCR test that will be sequenced from the virus genetic code to help identify new variants. Unvaccinated people will still have to perform PCR-type tests.

People returning from the countries on the red list will have to undergo a paid, 10-day quarantine in one of the hotels indicated by the authorities. From the red list, which so far has more than 50 countries and territories, eight will be removed from Wednesday morning. They are: Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Oman and Bangladesh.

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– Today’s changes mean a simpler, more transparent system. With fewer tests and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones or do business around the world, while also providing a boost to the tourism industry, Shapps said. He announced that the new system is to function at least until the end of the year.


‘Public health has always been at the heart of our travel policy abroad, and with over 44 million fully vaccinated people in the UK, we are now able to put in place an updated system accordingly, reflecting the new situation,’ added the Transport Minister. He explained that the changes could not have been introduced earlier, because the opinions of scientists were against it at the time.

The announced changes will only apply to arrivals and departures to England. The rest of the UK tended to harmonize their travel lists according to updates made by the UK government but were more cautious in some cases, e.g. Scotland required hotel quarantine for some time from all foreigners, not just from red list countries . So far, only the Welsh government has announced that it will “carefully study” the new changes. The authorities in Belfast have not yet taken a position on this matter.

Coronavirus in Scotland – Testing Still Compulsory

The Scottish government said on Friday night that it would not yet comply with the eased travel regime announced for England.

The Scottish authorities will also replace the three travel letters with a red one from October 4, but for now they will maintain the current rules regarding the required tests for the presence of coronavirus. This means that everyone arriving in Scotland will have to undergo a test within 72 hours of arrival as well as a PCR test on the second day after arrival (vaccinated) or on the second and eighth days (unvaccinated).

“The UK government’s decision to implement the proposed abolition of the pre-arrival test requirement in England and the use of lateral flow tests on the second day after arrival was not adopted at this stage in Scotland due to serious public health concerns. before and after the trip, it is an important part of our border regime in order to minimize the risk of importing worrying variants, the Scottish government said.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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