THE controversial traffic light system that governed international travel to the UK will officially be scrapped.
From October 4, the current traffic light system of red, amber and green countries will be made redundant and replaced with one red list only, confirmed transport secretary Grant Shapps on Friday evening.
In this significant loosening of travel rules for people entering and leaving the UK, passengers who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus will also no longer need to present a negative test to travel into England from countries not listed on the red list.
The red list, which features 62 countries at present, will be reduced to 56 with the removal of Kenya, Oman, Egypt, the Maldives, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from 4am on September 22.
At this moment, this change will only apply to England, with the Scottish government already announcing that the country will not follow suit.
The Welsh government has also said that they would first need to carefully consider the measures before they are officially introduced.
Shapps said it was not possible to scrap the system sooner because scientific advice did not favour it.
He 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.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid also said that ‘today we have simplified the travel rules to make them easier to understand and follow, opening up tourism and reducing the costs to go abroad’.
Demand for foreign holidays is expected to reach its highest level this weekend, ending the main barrier for travel to Spain with the country being on the amber classification.