Amber list and PCR tests predicted to be axed in upcoming travel update

Ministers will be meeting today to make the final decisions on the latest travel update, with sources hinting at a massive shake-up of restrictions.

The latest travel announcement is set to occur this afternoon, with sources confirming to The Guardian and The Times that the current amber list may be culled. At the same time,PCR tests for vaccinated returnees could also be scrapped.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted at the changes in a Downing Street press conference on Monday, stating that the Government was considering simplifying the traffic light system for travel and making the ‘burdens of testing less onerous for those who are coming back into the country.’

Amber list could be simplified

Since its introduction in May, the UK’s travel list has been updated every three weeks, but the recent cabinet reshuffling caused a delay in this month’s announcement. However, it has been hinted that the list could be scrapped altogether in favour of more simplified ‘go’ or ‘no go’ categories.

The ‘no-go’ or red list will be focused on countries where there is cause for concern of new COVID variants, meaning some of the lists’ 62 countries could soon be cleared for travel. Coronavirus data analyst Tim White revealed that predicting which countries would be moved to the green list is a ‘travel lottery’ and ‘nobody could be sure.’

PCR tests for vaccinated returnees could be scrapped

Reports have also speculated that new changes could see fully vaccinated Brits skip the need for pre-departure and post-arrival PCR tests, saving travellers around £100. The suspicion comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced earlier this week the intention for PCR tests to be scrapped for fully inoculated Brits in favour of low-cost lateral-flow tests.

Those who have had both COVID jabs are already permitted to skip the 10-day self-isolation when returning from amber list countries. With the anticipated new changes, vaccinated Brits would suffer little to no travel rules when returning from green/amber listed countries.

On the other hand, under the anticipated new system, those who aren’t fully jabbed would need to self-isolate and undergo two COVID PCR tests when returning from low-risk locations.

Normal restrictions are also predicted to remain in place for all those returning from red-list countries, including the 11-day managed quarantine stay that costs travellers upwards of £2,285.

A source revealed to The Guardian that the new plan would ‘be made much simpler, particularly for those who are double-vaxxed.’

The proposed relaxed restrictions for vaccinated Brits would also incentivise more residents to go in for their jabs, as they would no longer need to pay for expensive PCR testing or endure the hassle of self-isolation.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is set to announce the new travel update today, with changes only applying to England.

Double-jabbed travellers may avoid quarantine upon return from amber-list countries Double-jabbed travellers may avoid quarantine upon return from amber-list countries