Industry waits for Foreign Office update after red list is slashed

By Linsey McNeill
08/10/2021
Home » Industry waits for Foreign Office update after red list is slashed

Travel leaders have welcomed news that the UK’s travel red list will be slashed to just seven countries from next Monday, but Advantage CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said said the industry needs the Foreign Office (FCDO) advice to align.

While the Department for Transport has confirmed 47 countries will be removed from the red list on 11 October, the FCDO has yet to remove its advice against non-essential travel to any of them.

“The latest updates from the UK Government with regards to travel is the best news the industry has had in a while, with 47 destinations being removed from the red list and fewer entry requirements for fully vaccinated travellers, making the process simpler and more affordable,” said Ms Bue-Said.

“It’s also positive to see the government has confirmed lateral flow tests will replace Day 2 PCR tests from late October, but we desperately need to know the exact date so families can plan for the half term break.

“Although travel to many South American destinations is still not possible, the destinations that have been removed are ideal for travel agents booking clients on long-haul and forward bookings for 2022 and beyond. 

“While this is a hugely positive step forward, it does beg the question as to why all of a sudden 47 destinations that were previously deemed to be high risk, are now safe to travel to? We’d still like to see the removal of inhumane hotel quarantine from remaining red list countries and replaced with home self-isolation and appropriate testing instead.

“As ever, we will need the FCDO advice to align as much as possible, travellers will still need to take into account that not all destinations are allowing Brits in and will need to check relevant country’s entry requirements.

“While this news means that travel is the most accessible it has been in almost two years, it is still complicated, and booking with a knowledgeable and trusted travel agent has never been more important.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (pictured) announced this week that the Foreign Office will only warn against non-essential travel to non-red list destinations in exceptional circumstances.

At the moment, however, there are dozens of non-red list countries where the FCDO says it’s still not safe to travel, including the Bahamas and Jamaica.

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