Britain will scrap tough COVID-19 quarantine requirements for 47 destinations including South Africa on Monday and make it easier for people to arrive from countries including India, Brazil and Turkey in the latest stage of its relaxation of the rules.
The only countries that will remain on the red list are: Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Venezuela.
Britain’s tourism industry has essentially lost two full summers after travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 deterred many people from going on holiday.
Airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet have said that expensive tests and frequently changing restrictions have delayed any recovery in the sector, leaving the British industry lagging its European peers.
On Thursday, transport minister Grant Shapps said he would remove 47 destinations from the red list that required arrivals to spend 10 days quarantining in a hotel.
He has also eased the rules for countries such as India, Turkey and Ghana, meaning that fully vaccinated arrivals will only need to take a test on day 2 to check for COVID.
In a further change, passengers will be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test result to verify test accuracy once the requirement switches from the more expensive PCR test later this month.
“Restoring people’s confidence in travel is key to rebuilding our economy and levelling up this country,” he said. “With less restrictions and more people traveling, we can all continue to move safely forward together along our pathway to recovery.”