Will the UK travel traffic light system be scrapped?

TRANSPORT Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to announce the end to the travel traffic light system.

While there has been no official confirmation Cabinet figures, including Boris Johnson, have been dropping heavy hints.

Will the UK travel traffic light system be scrapped?

The travel traffic light system is expected to be axed in the announcement today, September 17, 2021.

It will be replaced by a simpler go/no-go system.

The red list that bans travel to 62 countries will be more than halved when all of the new measures kick in.

People returning from these destinations will still have to undergo hotel quarantine

Some popular holiday spots, such as Turkey, Mexico and Tunisia, could be declared safe.

Pre-departure tests are expected to be scrapped.

Returning holidaymakers who have been double-jabbed will no longer have to fork-out for the expensive PCR test and instead have to take the cheaper lateral flow test.

To be counted as being double-jabbed you must have received your second jab at least 14 days before your return trip to the UK.

It will still cost around £30 per person though as the free NHS kits will not be accepted.

Those taking the test will be supervised in person or virtually but the changes will save about £100 in testing costs per booking.

And they will not have to show a negative test at all if they return from a green list country.

Unvaccinated travellers will still have to pay for a PCR test and face ten days of self-isolation.

The changes won’t come into effect immediately but are likely to take place ahead of the October half-term.

On September 14, 2021 Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted the traffic light system rules will be "simplified" with fewer tests for holidaymakers.

When asked about the changes to the travel rules, he said: "We'll be looking at how to simplify [the traffic light system] and what we can do to make the burdens of testing less onerous for people who are coming back into the country.

The Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that more information would be given by Shapps ahead of the Global Travel Taskforce’s review on October 1.

He said: "A set of changes [to travel restrictions] that we are looking to make very soon. The Transport Secretary will bring them to the house as soon as he possibly can."

How long has the traffic light system been in place?

The traffic light system was announced in April 2021 Johnson as restrictions surrounding the coronavirus were eased.

But it was implemented on May 17, allowing non-essential overseas travel.

The first categories were revealed on May 7 with announcements made every three weeks as circumstances changed in individual countries.

What is the traffic light system?

Travel destinations were ranked green, amber or red according to a combination of factors, including vaccination rates, Covid variants and number of cases.

The Government said at the time the new system "will help ensure the UK's vaccine progress isn't jeopardised and provide clear guidance for travellers".

People heading to low-risk "green" countries had to take a virus test before they return to UK, followed by two further tests on day 2 and day 8 after they arrived.

Travellers returning from medium risk "amber" countries had to take a pre-departure test, then self-isolate at home for ten days.

They also had to take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 of quarantine, but could also take a private test on day 5 in order to leave self-isolation.

Travellers returning from high risk "red" countries had to take a test before entering the UK and then pay to quarantine in a hotel for 11 days.

They then had to pay for two further Covid tests on day 2 and day 8 of isolation.

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