Travel update UK: Amber list SCRAPPED and expensive PCR tests ditched in biggest holidays boost since pandemic began

BRITS can jet off for a hassle-free autumn in the sun after both the amber list and expensive PCR tests were SCRAPPED in the biggest travel boost of the pandemic so far.

In a huge win for holidaymakers ministers are also shrinking the red list – with popular destination Turkey among those declared Covid safe today.

Double-jabbed passengers will no longer have to take annoying pre-departure tests or costly PCR tests on day 2 of their return.

Grant Shapps took an axe to the costly and complex travel rules as he vowed to end the bureaucracy proving a nightmare for holidaymakers.

From October 4 ministers are simplifying the messy traffic light system to a simple Go/No Go list, as already revealed by The Sun.

The current amber and green lists will merge into one "rest of of the world" Covid safe list.

Eight of the 62 countries currently on the red list are being taken off, with a view to keep stripping more places over the coming weeks.

Turkey, Egypt, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Kenya will all be struck off the red list next Wednesday at 4am.

It means fully-vaxxed holidaymakers will finally be able to take a break in these places without forking out thousands for hotel quarantine.


To kickstart overseas travel after 18 months of misery ministers today announced they're also ditching costly PCR tests for double-jabbed travellers from October 4.

Fully-vaxxed Brits will instead be able to take a cheaper lateral flow swab on day two of their return – shaving about £100 off the price of holidays.

But Brits won't be able to use the free NHS kits but fork out £30 for supervised swabs.

Annoying pre-departure tests will also not be needed if you're double jabbed.

Transport Secretary Mr Shapps said: "Today’s changes mean a simpler, more straightforward system.

"One with less testing and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones or conduct business around the world while providing a boost for the travel industry."

Speculation ahead of today's announcement sparked a surge in bookings as travel companies scrambled to lay on more flights.

Shares in easyJet and Wizz Air close also went through the roof and to the top of the FTSE 250.

Tourism will also be dealt a boost as the UK is prepared to recognise double-jabbed status from 17 other countries including Australia and Canada.


Earlier Downing Street warned that the freedoms could be snatched back if a mutant variant threatens the Covid recovery.

Boris Johnson's official spokesperson said: "We are aware that the pandemic is still ongoing and there is always a chance of unexpected challenges such as an even more transmissible or more deadly variant emerging.

"That said, because of the success of our vaccine programme, it is enabling us to move steadily and remove restrictions as we saw as we came out of Step 4.

He added "while we have seen the slow easing of restrictions on travel" it would be "wrong to rule anything out in the future".

A Department for Transport spokesman said earlier: "Our top priority is to protect public health – decisions on our traffic light system are kept under regular review and are informed by the latest risk assessment from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and wider public health factors."

Labour's shadow minister Sarah Jones "We want travel to open up as safely and as quickly as possible.

"We've been calling for ages for the amber list to be scrapped, which has been touted in the papers today, because it always added to confusion – people never quite understood what the system was.

"And we've been calling for a proper process to work out an international vaccine passport so we can get people safely moving around."

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