Please find below here an update on the latest news and announcements that I hope you will find helpful.
New system for international travel
The UK Government has announced changes to international travel rules in England from 4am Monday 4 October
The current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories
The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on people’s vaccination status
Eligible fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to take a Pre Departure Test when travelling to England
England will welcome fully vaccinated travellers from 17 new countries and territories. These include arrivals from Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan.
From the end of October
Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test. Anyone testing positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional cost to the traveller, these will be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.
Passengers who change flights or international trains during their journey will be able to follow the measures associated with their country of departure, rather than any countries they have transited through as part of their journey.
Testing for unvaccinated passengers from non-red countries will include pre-departure tests, day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. Test to release remains an option to reduce self-isolation period.
Travel from the rest of the world if you are fully vaccinated
From 4am Monday 4 October, if you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days
with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan – mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is also recognised.
under a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the US, Canada and Australia and have a proof of participation (digital or paper-based) from a public health body.
There was some confusion in the press over the weekend about under 18's quarantining. The DfT have confirmed that all under 18's from the UK and the 50 other countries that the government recognises vaccination status for will be treated like double jabbed adults for travel, even if they are unvaccinated.
Countries removed from the red list
Quarantine guidance for unaccompanied HE and FE under 18's from red list countries
Guidance has been published for unaccompanied higher and further education students aged under 18 that are arriving in England and Wales from red list countries. Students may be able to quarantine in accommodation provided by their education institution or within host family accommodation. More details here
Autumn and Winter Plan for England
The Government set out the Autumn and Winter Plan for England. The plan sets out a Plan A scenario and outlines a Plan B contingency plan for England that would only be enacted if the data suggests that further actions are necessary to protect the NHS. Read the highlights here
ID cards after 01 October
As you know the use of ID cards to enter the UK will be terminated on 01 October 2021 which is another enormous blow to the UK travel industry. We have been working with our partners to try to find a solution to this issue, however, as you all know ultimately the Government has deemed it necessary for all arrivals to have passports and this is a position that will not change.
In respect of school groups and the List of Travellers Scheme (LoT) the Home Office have published their position which you can read here. One thing to note of concern is the closing statement "Whilst it remains current policy to continue to accept collective passports issued by signatories to the treaty, as part of our Points Based Immigration System, it is our intention to move to a position where everyone obtains an individual permission from the Home Office in advance of travel and so in the future we are likely to require individual documents."
Those that are interested in the subject should also refer to the Q&A section at the footer of the page which covers off a number of outstanding queries, however, if there are more please do get in touch. We will continue to push for the use of the Collective Passport and for the inclusion of TCN's. This issue spans several interest sectors and associations in the UK and overseas and we hope that our collective pressure will deliver some results.
Updates from the devolved administrations
Scotland launch Inbound Operator Collaborative Marketing Fund
The fund will focus on pandemic recovery and will aim to enable DMCs and tour operators in Scotland to develop and market responsible tourism to and around Scotland from international visitors. The total value of the fund is £1.5 million and is part of the wider Scottish Government support package being administered by VisitScotland. More details
Wales introduce Covid Pass for events and nightlife The Welsh Government has announced that people will have to show a NHS COVID Pass to enter nightclubs and attend events in Wales from 11 October. This means that all over 18's will need to have a pass to enter nightclubs, indoor non seated events of more than 500, outdoor events for more than 4,000 or any setting with more than 10,000 in attendance.
Northern Ireland announce £1m conference support scheme
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has launched a £1 million Conference Support Scheme in partnership with Tourism NI, Visit Belfast, Visit Derry, Belfast City Council and Derry and Strabane District Council. The scheme is part of the Tourism Recovery Action Plan and is aimed at securing business events for Northern Ireland.
Other news & events
The Prime Minister carried out a reshuffle of the cabinet last week. As part of this Nadine Dorries was announced as the new Secretary of State at DCMS. The Secretary of State has overall responsibility for strategy and policy across the department which includes tourism. Nigel Huddleston will remain in post as Tourism Minister.