The UK government announced relaxation of international travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers coming in and out of the country, in turn, benefitting long-haul routes between India and UK. The red, amber and green colour system for countries based on levels of COVID risk will be discontinued and replaced with one red list, starting October 4. 

Since India falls in the amber list, the scrapping of the list will lead to potential reduction in cost burden for travellers. However, those vaccinated with Covishield will still be required to show pre-departure PCR test results and later get tested again on arrival. 

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“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,” said UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

“Public health has always been at the heart of our international travel policy and with over 44 million people fully vaccinated in the UK, we are now able to introduce a proportionate updated structure that reflects the new landscape,” he said.

Unvaccinated passengers from non-red countries will undergo pre-departure tests, day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. Passengers who are vaccinated with unauthorised vaccines under England’s international travel rules, including India, will also have to undergo a pre-departure test, a day 2 and day 8 PCR test, further self-isolating themselves at their given address for 10 days after arrival. 

“Today we have simplified the travel rules to make them easier to understand and follow, opening up tourism and reducing the costs to go abroad,” said UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

“As global vaccination efforts continue to accelerate and more people gain protection from this dreadful disease, it is right that our rules and regulations keep pace,” he said.