Coronavirus Travel Advice Eased for 32 Countries

Britons will no longer be advised to avoid holidays to 32 destinations, including Bangladesh, Fiji, Gambia and Malaysia, the Foreign Office has said.

The change should make it easier for people visiting these locations to obtain travel insurance.

These destinations were not on the government’s red list, but the Foreign Office had still warned against non-essential travel to them due to Covid.

Earlier this week, travel rules in the UK were simplified.

The Foreign Office said this latest change in policy followed the “improved public health in many countries” and the “decreased risk to British nationals” as a result of the vaccine rollout.

The advice would apply except in “exceptional circumstances”, such as if the local healthcare system was overwhelmed, it added.

When the Foreign Office advises against travel to a country, all but a handful of travel insurance policies are invalid.

It will continue to advise against all but essential travel for all red list countries where the risk to British nationals is deemed to be “unacceptably high”.

The government is also expected to announce on Thursday changes to the red list. There are currently 54 destinations on the list, including Mexico, Cuba, all of mainland South America, and southern and eastern Africa.

The inbound vaccination list – the list of countries in which a person can be vaccinated and this status is recognised by the UK – could also increase.

All eyes on the red list

Piece by piece, international travel is starting to open up.

This week, the UK government divided the globe into red and non-red countries, meaning that travelling to the UK from much of the world – for those fully vaccinated – became much simpler. The Foreign Office’s changes will make travel easier too.

All eyes are now on the red list, particularly on regions like South America and southern Africa which have had restrictions from early this year. The travel industry has been pushing to reduce the list as far as possible. Will the government slash it or be more cautious?

But the red list isn’t the whole story for those hoping to travel to the UK.

There are still many countries the UK doesn’t yet recognise vaccination certificates from and travellers have to be vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen or AstraZeneca or must self isolate on arrival. As many countries used other vaccines on their populations, there’s a danger that access to the UK could become split.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “These rule tweaks will make travelling more straightforward, supporting businesses and families right across Britain – and allow more of us to see friends and loved ones with greater peace of mind.

“We’re striking the right balance between keeping people safe which remains our priority and giving them the freedom to exercise personal responsibility, while supporting the travel sector as it continues to recover.”

On Monday, the traffic light travel system was replaced by a single red list.

Red-list countries are those the UK government says should not be visited “except in the most extreme of circumstances”.

Testing rules are also being eased for people travelling from non-red list destinations who have been vaccinated in the UK, the EU, the US, or any of 18 other recognised countries.

The full list of destinations for which the Foreign Office has eased its travel advice is: Algeria; Armenia; Bangladesh; Belarus; Benin; Comoros; Tokelau and Niue; Djibouti; Equatorial Guinea; Fiji; Gambia; Guinea; Kazakhstan; Kiribati; Kosovo; Liberia; Madagascar; Malaysia; Marshall Islands; Micronesia; Nauru; Sao Tome and Principe; Senegal; Solomon Islands; Togo; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu; Congo; America Samoa; French Polynesia; and Ghana.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-58822439

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