Boris Johnson is to open up the UK to quarantine-free travel with the red list cut back dramatically in time for half-term holidays, with just nine countries remaining from 54.
The current strict travel rules are to be eased as the Prime Minister is expected to bring back some normality to travel following the pandemic lockdown.
Fully vaccinated arrivals from countries including South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia will no longer have to quarantine in a government-designated hotel for 10 days when they get to England from later in October, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The changes are set to be announced on Thursday, and are likely to result in a surge of bookings, boosting airlines and travel companies that have been brought to their knees during the pandemic.
The list of red countries will be reduced from 54 nations to just nine with Thailand still a marginal call.
A Whitehall source told the Sunday Telegraph that the aim now is that the government’s travel policy is “unnecessarily” restrictive.
The change of approach from the government comes with the travel industry frustrated at the tough rules in place, especially currently compared to some of the UK’s European neighbours.
And the new rules will mean that families will be able to travel more freely during the upcoming school holidays and not put off by quarantining.
Theresa May was one of the Conservative MPs to criticise the way that the country was “falling behind” other European countries in opening up.
The country’s hotel quarantine policy for higher risk countries costs 2,285 pounds per adult, deterring global travel.
Britain is already planning to relax its travel rules from October 4 by scrapping its amber list for medium risk destinations and no longer requiring fully vaccinated passengers to take a Covid test before they arrive in the country from places not on the red list.
The government has said that from later in October, arrivals in England will no longer have to take a PCR test two days after arrival and can instead opt for the cheaper lateral flow test.
Johnson is backing a new approach now with the impact of vaccinations allowing people to return to “normality”.
He reportedly said the vaccine rollout “has saved thousands of lives, prevented countless hospitalisations and has allowed the economy and society to begin returning to normality”.