COVID: England eases restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers | News | DW | 17.09.2021

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COVID: England eases restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers

Vaccinated travelers arriving from from low-risk countries will no longer have to take PCR tests. England has also removed eight countries from its red list.

Passengers are seen at BA check-in desks at Heathrow Airport

Travelers returning to England from Turkey, Pakistan, and the Maldives will not have to quarantine on their return

The British government on Friday eased up its rules for international travelers arriving in England.

Pricey COVID-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers are being scrapped from October 4.

The UK also removed eight countries from its "red list." People returning from Turkey, Pakistan and the Maldives, among other countries, will not have to quarantine upon return.

Newer, simpler travel regulations

British Transport Minister Grant Schapps posted on Twitter that government was "making testing easier for travel."

He also said the "simpler, more straightforward system" would enable " more people to travel, see loved ones or conduct business around the world while providing a boost for the travel industry."

There will now be a ranking system of either low or high risk countries, as opposed to the traffic light system of red, amber and green.

Travelers will still need a test after arriving, but this will be in the form of a cheaper lateral flow test, as opposed to the more expensive PCR test.

Unvaccinated travelers will still need to self-isolate for 10 days, and take tests before and after traveling. 

The rule changes will apply to England. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland make their own decisions regarding policy.

The measures are expected to give international travel a much needed shot in the arm. The airline and travel sectors were battered by COVID-19 restrictions.

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COVID restrictions in England

On July 19 leaders in England went ahead with plans to ditch most of the lockdown measures that had been in place.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's "freedom day" was criticized by political opponents and some in the medical profession, because the easing up of restrictions coincided with a spike in COVID-19 cases.

According to the latest government figures, daily cases of are over 32,000. Deaths are at a daily rate of 178, thats a 5.1% increase compared to a week ago.

Currently over 89% of the population over the age of 16 has received one dose of vaccine.

A little over 81% have received a second dose. Hospital admissions as a result of the virus are seeing a decrease.

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kb/rt (AP, Reuters)