BRITS can jet off for a hassle-free autumn in the sun after both the amber list and expensive PCR tests were SCRAPPED in the biggest travel boost of the pandemic so far.
In a huge win for holidaymakers ministers are also shrinking the red list – with Turkey and Egypt among those declared Covid safe today.
Double-jabbed passengers will no longer have to take annoying pre-departure tests or pricey PCR tests on day 2 of their return to the UK.
Grant Shapps took an axe to the costly and complex travel rules as he vowed to end the bureaucracy proving a nightmare for holidaymakers.
The Transport Secretary said the changes are locked in until the New Year – meaning Christmas breaks are safe.
From October 4 ministers are simplifying the messy traffic light system to a simple Go/No Go list, as already revealed by The Sun.
The current amber and green lists will merge into one “rest of of the world” Covid safe list.
Eight of the 62 countries currently on the red list are being taken off, with a view to keep stripping more places over the coming weeks .
Turkey, Egypt, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Kenya will all be struck off the red list next Wednesday at 4am.
It means fully-vaxxed holidaymakers will finally be able to take a break in these places without forking out thousands for hotel quarantine.
PASS THE TEST
To kickstart travel after 18 months of misery ministers today announced double-jabbed travellers can swap PCR tests for cheaper lateral flow swab on day two of their return – shaving about £100 off the price of holidays.
Brits won’t be able to use the free NHS kits but fork out £30 for supervised swabs.
Annoying p re-departure tests will also not be needed if you’re fully-vaxxed
Transport Secretary Mr Shapps said: “Today's changes mean a simpler, more straightforward system.
“One with less testing and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones or conduct business around the world while providing a boost for the travel industry.”
Speculation ahead of today’s announcement sparked a surge in bookings as travel companies scrambled to lay on more flights.
Shares in easyJet and Wizz Air close also went through the roof and to the top of the FTSE 250.
Tourism will also be dealt a boost as the UK is prepared to recognise double-jabbed status from 17 other countries including Australia and Canada.
‘NOTHING RULED OUT’
Earlier Downing Street warned that the freedoms could be snatched back if a mutant variant threatens the Covid recovery.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson said: “We are aware that the pandemic is still ongoing and there is always a chance of unexpected challenges such as an even more transmissible or more deadly variant emerging.
“That said, because of the success of our vaccine programme, it is enabling us to move steadily and remove restrictions as we saw as we came out of Step 4.
He added “while we have seen the slow easing of restrictions on travel” it would be “wrong to rule anything out in the future”.
A Department for Transport spokesman said earlier: “Our top priority is to protect public health – decisions on our traffic light system are kept under regular review and are informed by the latest risk assessment from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and wider public health factors.”
Labour’s shadow minister Sarah Jones “We want travel to open up as safely and as quickly as possible.
“We’ve been calling for ages for the amber list to be scrapped, which has been touted in the papers today, because it always added to confusion – people never quite understood what the system was.
“And we’ve been calling for a proper process to work out an international vaccine passport so we can get people safely moving around.”
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?
- Galaxy S10 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro LG V50 ThinQ 5G: Why you shouldn't rush to buy a 5G phone
- How remain failed: the inside story of a doomed campaign
- Struve KOs Miocic, Brits excel
- Can electric football ever again create a buzz?
- Is Richardson worthy of a top-five pick?
- Woods’ life changed last Thanksgiving
- One year after scandal, Woods tries to move on
- Duo staying with Pools
- Parky: Bantams are determined
- Hearts future clouded in doubt
- Hanson: Wells has star quality
- Johnson urges Yeovil focus
- Simpson could make Latics return
- County interested in Gordon
- Rangers’ dominance over AL rivals continues
Travel update UK: Amber list SCRAPPED and expensive PCR tests ditched in biggest holidays boost since pandemic began have 777 words, post on www.thesun.co.uk at September 17, 2021. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.