I know from my conversations with constituents that, over the last 18 months, international travel has proved troublesome for many families across the Forest of Dean, from those wishing to go on holiday to those hoping to visit relatives.
I was therefore pleased with the Government’s recent announcement that the rules on international travel are to be simplified. From next month, the previous traffic light system will be replaced with a single red list of countries which the Government advises against travelling to. As before, those returning to the UK from red-list countries will be required to take a pre-departure tests, isolate in a hotel for 10 days upon return and take PCR tests on day 2 and 8 in the UK of their quarantine.
However, the positive news is that the situation is set to improve for those travelling to the ‘rest of the world.’ Fully vaccinated passengers arriving from certain non-red list countries will no longer be required to take a pre-departure test before their arrival into England from Monday 4 October. Later in October, the day 2 PCR test will be dropped for fully-vaccinated passengers and replaced with the cheaper lateral flow device tests. In the event of a positive lateral flow test, passengers will be required to take a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional expense.
Unvaccinated passengers arriving from non-red list countries will be required to take a pre-departure test, day 2 PCR test and day 8 PCR test, and will have to self-isolate upon their return to England.
There’s also good news coming out of popular destinations for UK tourists. For example, the US has announced that they will allow fully vaccinated UK travellers into America from early November.
In my work as chair of the Covid Recovery Group of Conservative MPs, I have been alert to the fact that the aviation industry is amongst those that has been seriously affected by the pandemic. I hope the recent announcements will enable the sector to get back on its feet.