You might be able to travel ANYWHERE and not have to pay for a hotel quarantine – as it could soon be scrapped

THE much-hated red list hotel quarantine restrictions could be scrapped, after it was dropped in Ireland over the weekend.

Despite new rules being introduced this month across the UK, which has seen the end of the traffic light scheme, the mandatory 10-day hotel quarantine rules are still in place.

Ireland's Health Minister Stephen Donnelly announced on Saturday that all of the countries on the list which required the quarantine were removed, ending the hotel scheme, due to the diminishing threat of the Delta variant.

It is hoped that the UK could follow suit, with the Department for Transport (DfT) understood to back the move, according to the Telegraph.

The current rules, which are in place for destinations such as Thailand and Mexico, require all arrivals to pay up to £2,285 each to quarantine at the government-approved hotels.

Despite popular hotspots including Turkey, Egypt and the Maldives taken off the list last week, more than 50 countries still remain on the red list.

A travel industry expert told the Telegraph that the UK is an "outlier" for arrivals testing, and warned that it was a "a policy of its time but things have moved on".

New rules being introduced next week will also reduce the testing restrictions for vaccinated Brits returning to the UK.

A pre-arrival test will no longer be needed from October 4, while the day two PCR test will be replaced with a lateral flow test later next month.

Last week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Brits should be able to use £5 supermarket Covid tests when they return from holidays abroad, in a bid to cut the costs of holiday testing.

Mr Shapps, citing test kits in Ireland Lidls which cost £21 for five, said: "I look forward to the expansion of lateral flow tests perhaps into supermarkets and elsewhere as we as we get onto the point where people can buy those returning from holiday.

"Remember with PCR tests you didn't have to be supervised. You had to get that PCR test in advance, you had to record the fact that you ordered it, but you were then trusted to get on and do it."

Holidaymakers could even be forced to video themselves taking lateral flow tests after returning from holidays when day two PCR tests for double-jabbed people are ditched. 

Travel industry sources have reportedly said travellers might have to carry out a swab in sea or air terminals, or a video consultation where people are watched taking the Covid tests.

A source told the Daily Telegraph: “You could have a simple mail-order system but the problem is that you have no verification whatsoever. 

“You only have to look at social media to see videos of people faking it.”

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