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Coronavirus

UK Says It Will Simplify Confusing COVID-19 Travel Rules

September 17, 2021

LONDON — The British government says it plans to simplify rules for international travel during the coronavirus pandemic and will make an announcement Friday.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says on Twitter he’ll “set out measures to simplify international travel later today in order to reduce costs, take advantage of higher levels of vaccination, and keep us all safe.”

The government is under pressure to scrap its “traffic light” system that ranks countries as red, yellow or green — high, medium or low risk from the coronavirus.

Airlines and travel businesses say Britain’s requirements are keeping people away and hampering recovery from the pandemic.

At present, people coming from “red list” countries must spend 10 days in a government-approved quarantine hotel. Unvaccinated travelers from yellow list countries must self-isolate for 10 days at home, while fully vaccinated travelers need to take coronavirus tests before and after arriving in Britain.

It’s likely the government will ease the rules that require travelers to take a highly sensitive and pricey PCR test two days after arrival. They could use a cheaper but less sensitive test instead.

Any changes will apply only to England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own policies.

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