Luton Airport welcomes Red List reduction but calls on government to restore confidence in travel

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Changes have already provided a boost for the October half term and Christmas period

The Government needs to do more to restore confidence in international travel, according to London Luton Airport (LLA).

Travel advice has been relaxed this week, making it easier to visit almost 90 countries. Forty-seven nations were taken off the Red List at 4am on Monday, meaning anyone arriving from those countries no longer needs to quarantine in a hotel.

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A spokesman for LLA said: “These changes have already provided a boost for the October half term and Christmas period, but we have a long way to go before consumer confidence is fully restored and we see passenger numbers at pre-pandemic levels.

London Luton AirportLondon Luton Airport
London Luton Airport

"There is no question that people want to travel to reunite with their families, to reconnect with businesses or just for some time in the sun. The Government needs to recognise this and help unlock the rest of the demand by restoring confidence in travel.”

Removed from the list on Monday were: Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Congo (Democratic Republic), Costa Rica, Cuba. Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Georgia, Guyana, Indonesia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mayotte, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Paraguay, Philippines, Réunion, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Uruguay, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

There are now only seven red list countries which the Government says should not be visited "except in the most extreme of circumstances".

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They are: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

If you have been in one of these countries in the last 10 days, you cannot travel to the UK.

The only exception is if you are a UK or Irish national, or UK resident - in which case you need to:

>Take a Covid-19 test before departure for the UK

>Complete a passenger locator form

>Self-isolate on arrival in the UK for 10 days in a quarantine hotel, paid in advance

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These rules apply whether or not you have been fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated passengers travelling to the UK from any non-red list country, no longer have to take a Covid test before setting off.

From the end of October, fully vaccinated people coming to England will no longer have to take a PCR test two days after arrival.

Instead, they'll be able to take a cheaper and simpler lateral flow test and will be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test to verify the result.

But the Department for Transport has said NHS lateral flow devices cannot be used for travel. "Both pre-departure tests and on arrival tests must be bought from private providers," it said.