After 18 months of delayed travel plans, fully vaccinated people may now forge ahead with holiday bookings after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the traffic light system will be replaced with a red list of no-go countries for international travel. Those who are fully vaccinated may forgo pre-travel COVID-19 testing, making planning a holiday much easier.
Travel agencies reveled in the news, noting an uptick in vacation bookings. They expect an ongoing surge in ticketing sales.
Travelers returning from eight countries will not need to quarantine after travel or take a PCR test two days after their return. Instead, they can take a rapid test and provide results to the government.
In addition, officials removed Bangladesh, Turkey, Pakistan, Maldives, Oman, Egypt, Sri Lanka and Kenya from the red list. These changes make international travel less complicated and more cost-effective.
Mr. Shapps cited the UK’s high vaccination rate as the reason behind these changes. Business owners in the travel industry expressed enthusiasm and noted double-digit increases in individual, couples and family holiday bookings.
These changes arrive in time for the upcoming holiday season and will allow families to reunite.
While economists, business owners and transportation officials laud these changes, a few people expressed concern. Labour officials raised concerns over the burgeoning number of coronavirus variants and the ability of rapid tests to detect such infections.
Welsh, Scottish and Irish officials will consider England’s changes for COVID-19 testing, but they’re not guaranteeing the same benefits for their citizens. However, all of the government leaders agreed to mirror the changes for the eight formerly red-listed destinations.
The current COVID-19 situation in the UK shows slow improvement. New infections have plateaued from the delta variant’s incredible numbers in early July but remain 10 times higher than the new infections from March through June.