Scrapped Covid Traffic Light Travel System From Today – Everything You Need To Know & What It Will Mean For Welsh Travelers
New rules introduced to make travel to the UK “easier and cheaper” came into effect today.
Starting at 4 a.m. on Monday, October 4, the traffic light system involving Green, Amber, and Red lists was replaced with a new, simpler system with locations classified as Red Listed or not.
People arriving from a red tier destination like Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines or South Africa will still need to spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel priced at £ 2,285 for solo travelers.
Read more: All the latest news on the coronavirus can be found here.
Last week the Welsh government confirmed it would match the latest changes to the UK government’s travel rules – but have yet to make a decision on the testing rules. Read more here.
The Welsh government said: “From 4 a.m. on Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to Wales switch to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world
“The rules for traveling from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your immunization status.”
The new rules come amid reports that the number of countries on the red list will be reduced to nine from 54 later in the week, destinations such as Brazil, Mexico and South Africa are expected to be open to trips without quarantine.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning a trip abroad
What the Welsh government invites you to check before you travel
- Check if the country you are going to is on the red list or not.
- Check the entry requirements for entering the country you are traveling to. You may need to prove your vaccine status, provide a negative coronavirus test, fill out forms before entering, be tested while in the country, and / or face mandatory quarantine.
- Check how you will prove your vaccine status and / or negative coronavirus test.
- Check the requirements you need to follow when you arrive in Wales.
- Check the requirements for children and young people (if you are traveling together or independently).
- Check that you have completed your passenger locator form for your return to Wales.
- Check that you have booked the correct / necessary tests for your return to Wales.
Which countries are on the red list
The following countries are on the red list. If you are traveling from one of these countries, you must follow the rules for travelers arriving from a country on the red list.
- Green cap
- Congo (Democratic Republic)
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- French Guiana
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- Trinidad and Tobago
What you need to know if you are planning a trip abroad
Before you go, you should review the requirements for visitors to the country you plan to travel to. Restrictions may be in place, including proof of vaccination, testing, quarantine, and reasons for entry.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) provides overseas travel advice, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings. This includes advice and information on entry conditions such as covid testing and isolation for.
FCDO’s travel advice is based on the risks to the traveler while in their destination country, which is different from the risks of infection imported into Wales or the UK for returning travelers.
The Welsh Government website advises: “Please note that the requirements for outbound travel will be different from the requirements for inbound travel and both may change at short notice. It is advisable to check the latest updated guidelines before traveling.”
If you are not fully vaccinated or have arrived from a ‘Red List’ country (where you are allowed to enter Wales) for a short visit and need to self-isolate while you are here, you can leave isolation to return to this country.
An NHS Covid pass is available for people in Wales who have received two doses of vaccination and are traveling to a country that requires proof of COVID vaccination. How to download the Covid pass here.
If it is necessary to test negative before you can travel, it should not be NHS tests, but you must.
What happens with the tests in England
Fully vaccinated – and unvaccinated residents under the age of 18 – from more than 50 countries and territories can now enter the UK without needing to take a lateral flow test before departure, take a PCR test after l ‘arrival on the eighth day costing around £ 65, or themselves -Isolate at home, with a single post-arrival test two days after arrival. The Welsh government has still not announced whether it will also remove the PCR requirement and is calling on the UK government to reverse its decision.
Children under 11 were already exempt from pre-departure tests.
Those arriving from a red tier destination will still need to spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel priced at £ 2,285 for solo travelers.
Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are accelerating toward a future where travel continues to reopen safely and stay open for good, and today’s rule changes are good news for families, businesses and the travel industry.
“Our priority remains to protect public health but, with more than eight in 10 people now fully vaccinated, we are able to take these steps to reduce the cost of testing and help the industry continue to recover.”
What to do if you arrive in Wales and are fully vaccinated
People arriving in Wales from a country not on the Red List who are fully vaccinated should:
Post-arrival tests must be booked before your departure, either:
On the CTM booking portal you can book an NHS COVID-19 PCR test for £ 68.
If you choose a private GOV.UK test provider, you should only purchase “home self-swab” tests. Please note that any reference to your arrival in England on the GOV.UK pages for day 2 test providers includes arrival in Wales.
Viewing Your Immunization Status
You will need to prove that you have been fully vaccinated with one of the authorized vaccines before traveling.
You’ll have to:
- state that you have been fully vaccinated on your passenger tracking form (or that you are participating in an officially approved UK clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccines, or that you are under 18)
- show proof of your immunization status to your carrier (ferry, plane or train) when you travel
This proof must be:
- A digital NHS Covid Pass (Wales / UK)
- an EU digital COVID certificate (EU DCC) for Europe
- a CDC card for the United States – you will also need to show proof of residence in the United States, such as your United States passport, visa, or green card
a document (digital or paper) from a national or state public health body that includes, at a minimum:
- first and last name (s)
- Date of Birth
- vaccine brand and manufacturer
- vaccination date for each dose
- country or territory of vaccination and / or certificate issuing
Why the rules in Wales are different on testing
The Welsh government has now said it will make the same changes to the traffic light system and pre-departure testing. But he has not yet announced whether he will also remove the PCR requirement and is calling on the UK government to reverse its decision. Read more here.
Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: ‘We have regularly called for a cautious approach to international travel to prevent re-importation of the coronavirus into the UK, especially new and emerging variants that may not respond to vaccines.
“The decision to move away from PCR testing of returning travelers on the second day is concerning. This test, combined with the genetic sequencing of all positive tests, is an essential part of our coronavirus surveillance and protects our borders against the virus.
“We recognize the communication and enforcement challenges associated with different testing requirements, and continue to examine in depth the evidence for a testing regime only in Wales, but the most robust solution to protect the public health is for the UK government to reinstate UK-wide testing. “
To receive the latest coronavirus news straight to your inbox, sign up for our free Covid newsletter by clicking on here