The UK says farewell to the Traffic light system

by Giacomo Amati
British Airways set to benefit from traffic light system changes

The UK is implementing a new and more straightforward way of crossing its borders. Let’s look at what the new traffic light system looks like.

A Merger is in Sight

The UK government is planning a merger of the current green and amber lists. Starting October 4th at 4am, those who are fully vaccinated and are entering England from a country on those two lists won’t have to be tested before boarding a plane, ferry, or train.

However, a Day-2 Covid test will still be mandatory, but the PCR test currently requested by the authorities will be replaced by a much cheaper lateral flow test later in October. The government hopes to have these changes ready by the time British people will be back from their half-term vacations.

the traffic light system has caused a divide of opinions

The traffic light system has caused a divide of opinions. © Reuters

Red Countries Will Not Disappear

Although the red list will remain, it is getting shorter. Some countries, including Egypt, Turkey, and the Maldives, are being shifted to the amber list on September 22nd. Those who will travel from a red list country to England will still need to quarantine for 11 nights at hotels near airports, costing £2,285 per person.

Not Fully Vaccinated? England is Open for You, But with Additional Testing

If you haven’t received all your doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, or the vaccine you were jabbed with is not recognised by the UK,  you still have to be tested for Covid-19 before entering the country. Moreover, you will have to do both Day-2 and Day-8 PCR tests. Additionally, if you’re coming from a non-red list country, you will also have to self-isolate for ten days. These changes to the traffic light system have caused a divide in opinion, with many calling the changes out.

The test-to-release option will still be available for those who wish to shorten their quarantine period. If you test positive to Covid, you must isolate and take a free confirmatory PCR test to detect the spread of new variants.

Do you think the new rules will help England boost its passenger traffic? Let us know in the comments below.


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