Credit: Shutterstock

Traffic list changes announced: Turkey & Maldives slashed from red list & Covid tests cut

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Red list countries and green list countries were given an overhaul today as part of the UK's latest traffic light system update, as announced by Grant Shapps.

Turkey and Maldives have been cut from the red list in a major simplification of the traffic light system.

Bangladesh, Egypt, Kenya, Oman, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were all all slashed from the 'no-go' list - previously 63 countries strong.

The changes will come into effect mid next week.

The new system revealed by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will also simplify testing measures.

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Shapps tweeted: "We’re making testing easier for travel. From Mon 4 Oct, if you’re fully vax you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country and from later in Oct, will be able to replace the day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow.

"In addition, EIGHT countries and territories will come off the red list from Weds 22 Sept at 4am, incl. TURKEY, PAKISTAN and MALDIVES.

"We’ll also be introducing a new simplified system for international travel from Mon 4 Oct, replacing the current approach with a single red list and simplified measures for the rest of the world - striking the right balance to manage the public health risk as No.1 priority."

Under the new measures double-jabbed travellers will be exempt from expensive PCR tests. Credit: Shutterstock

Earlier today, a YouGov poll found 34 percent of Britons would support a simplified system with one 'no-go' list and one 'safe' list but 33 percent want it to remain as it already is.

Meanwhile, 11 percent of those surveyed want the whole system ditched altogether.

Rory Boland, Which? Travel Editor, said Thursday evening: "Travellers were let down badly during the summer by a confusing traffic light system and a dysfunctional PCR testing market that left them exposed to extortionate prices and unreliable providers.

"Steps to bring down the price of testing and provide greater clarity as to the current travel system would be welcomed by anyone hoping to book a holiday or travel abroad to visit family and friends.

A YouGov poll found 34 percent of Britons would support a simplified system. Credit: Shutterstock

He continued: "Regardless of whether the rules change for double-vaccinated travellers returning to the UK, ministers must still implement the competition regulator’s recommendations about the PCR testing system to ensure affordable and reliable tests are available for those who need them.

“With more destinations potentially opening up for international travel, it’s important to book with a provider with flexible booking options that will refund you if travel restrictions change at the last minute."

The update comes as Robert Courts MP, Minister for Aviation, Maritime & Security, celebrated the return of the cruising industry.

He said during a meeting with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA): “Thanks to the dedication and hard work of our cruise sector, we have seen the safe restart of international sailings this summer, after more than a year of still waters.

“I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved together, and look forward to even greater cooperation between Government and industry, helping more people return to seas and sail around the world safely again.”

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