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Holidays: ALL countries removed from red list - what does it mean for cruise?

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Red list countries all turned "green" today after the Government announced last week all the remaining seven counties on the UK's "no go" list are being removed. What does it mean for cruise?

Red list countries Colombia, Peru, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Venezuela and Ecuador are no more.

All seven have been scrapped from the red list in a fresh overhaul of the traffic list system.

The update means anyone returning from these countries will no longer have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days at their own cost.

The changes came into force early this morning. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted last week, announcing the update: "All seven remaining countries on the red list will be REMOVED from Mon 1 Nov at 4am."

The number of countries on the inbound tax policy has also been expanded.

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Shapps said last week: "We can also confirm that from Monday, eligible travellers from over 30 new countries and territories Globe with meridians including Peru & Uganda will be added to our inbound vax policy, bringing the total number of countries on this list to over 135."

However, the news does not signify the end of the red list altogether.

Countries could still be added to the red list if Covid-19 cases rise there.

Shapps tweeted: "We will keep the red list category in place as a precautionary measure to protect public health and are prepared to add countries and territories back if needed, as the UK’s first line of defence."

The green and amber list were slashed back in early November.

Red list: The USA is also still not yet open to British jet-setters. Credit: Shutterstock

While the news is undeniably a boost for the beleaguered travel industry, British travellers are still limited by the travel restrictions of other countries.

For instance, Morocco recently banned Britons due to rising cases of Covid. The USA is also still not yet open to British jet-setters, although this is set to change on November 8.

Covid testing and vaccine restrictions still remain in place in the UK.

Travel rules if you are fully vaccinated

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCO) explains that before you travel to England you must:

- book and pay for a COVID-19 test – to be taken before the end of day two in England

- complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

Travellers can now choose a lateral flow test or a PCR test which you take on or before day two (the day you arrive is day zero).

You will need to enter your COVID-19 test booking reference number on your passenger locator form.

If you will be in England for less than two days you still need to book and pay for a day two COVID-19 test.

Red list: Covid testing and vaccine restrictions still remain in place in the UK. Credit: Shutterstock

Travel rules if you are unvaccinated

The FCDO details that before you travel to England you must:

- take a COVID-19 test – to be taken in the three days before you travel to England

- book and pay for day two and day eight COVID-19 PCR tests – to be taken after arrival in England

- complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

Upon return home, you will need to quarantine for 10 days and take your COVID-19 PCR tests - the first on or before day two and the second test on or after day eight.

"If you need to quarantine, you may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme," explains the FCDO.

The cruise industry is booming once again. Credit: Shutterstock

What do the latest travel changes mean for cruises?

The travel industry is pleased with the latest development. Travel Association ABTA’s Director of Communications, Graeme Buck, said: "The decision to remove the remaining seven countries from the red list is welcome news for international travel.

"ABTA has been calling for the Government to keep the red list under review and act swiftly to remove countries when there is a reduced threat of COVID-19, so it’s great to see the Government responding to these calls.

“This news, together with the introduction of day two lateral flow tests instead of PCRs for fully vaccinated travellers returning to England – and Scotland and Wales from October 31 – means the process of booking and travelling on a foreign holiday is now cheaper and easier."

The cruise industry has welcomed all updates in recent weeks regarding the opening of travel.

Andy Harmer, Managing Director for CLIA UK & Ireland, commented: "We welcome these changes, which further simplify travel requirements for cruise lines and their guests. As international travel continues to open up, we are pleased that an increasing number of passengers are being given the opportunity to book their cruise to a range of destinations.

"The majority of cruise ships are projected to be operational again by the end of this year, meaning we can expect the return of the diverse range of holiday options we enjoyed previously."

However, many cruise lines have not changed their itineraries in light of the updates as programmes for the coming year were already in place.

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