The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced yesterday, September 18 that the traffic light system for international travel will be scrapped and the number of red-list countries is to be cut.
From October 4, there will be a single red list of countries where travellers to England must stay in a Government-supervised hotel – with Turkey, Pakistan and the Maldives all removed from the line-up.
People who are fully vaccinated will no longer need a pre-departure test before returning from non-red list destinations, and from later in the month will be able to replace the day two PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow test.
Newcastle airport has welcomed the announcement, which it hopes will make ‘travel as easy as possible’.
A spokesperson for Newcastle airport said: “We welcome the removal of the pre-departure testing requirement for fully vaccinated passengers returning to England as well as the move to cheaper and more convenient lateral flow tests on day 2 following arrival.
"We have been lobbying the Government for these changes, along with the simplification of the traffic light system, in the hope of making travel as easy as possible and to support the recovery of the UK’s travel industry.
“The announcement is well timed for the return of our Emirates flights to Dubai and the half term school holidays in October. As well as this, the removal of Turkey and the Maldives from the Red list will give even more choice for holidaymakers looking for a well-deserved winter sun getaway.”
Jet2holidays has also reported a spike in bookings following the update as flights to Antalya and Dalaman launch from Thursday, September 23 ahead of October half term.
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2holidays said: “Although it has been a long time coming, we are extremely pleased that the Government has finally committed to reopening international travel properly.
"Holidaymakers and independent travel agents will be frustrated that these changes come too late for the peak summer holiday period, but we know how delighted they will be that holidays are no longer subject to a set of restrictions that are completely out of step with other areas of everyday life.”