The UK on Thursday announced that Covid-19 red list travel restrictions will be reduced to seven countries, with 47 nations being removed from onerous quarantine requirements.
Only Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela will stay on the red list after 4am on Monday October 11, the Department for Transport said.
Another 47 nations will have the red list restrictions lifted and passengers returning to England from those destinations will no longer be required to enter hotel quarantine.
The government will also extend the inbound vaccinated arrivals system to a further 37 countries and territories across the globe, including India, South Africa and Turkey, meaning eligible passengers arriving from rest of world countries only need to take a test on their second day in England.
It is hoped the red list reduction will turbocharge the travel industry's recent renaissance.
UK red list countries from October 7
The UK government had already overhauled Covid travel rules for England, replacing the traffic light system with a single red list and introducing fewer testing requirements.
Fifty-four countries remained on the red list but, as was expected, the number was radically pared back to just seven.
The new lean red list will be welcomed by the travel industry.
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, which led the Save Our Summer campaign, had told The National there was “no justification for having so many countries on the red list. There's no evidence of new variants and that Covid is out of control,".
England travel rules from red-list countries
While much of the world has returned to being the oyster of travellers from the UK, the seven countries remaining on the red list are less accessible.
If a country is on the red list, then the 10-day hotel quarantine, at a cost of £2,285 ($3,137) per person, still applies. This includes two Covid tests to be taken before day two and on or after day eight.
Travellers must also take a pre-departure Covid test at least three days before travel and a passenger locator form must be filled in, at least 48 hours before travel.
England travel rules
Under the new travel rules, fully vaccinated holidaymakers to the rest of the non red-list world no longer need to take a PCR test before they travel and only need to take a lateral flow test on or before the second day of their return. The UK government is currently at odds over a plan to require travellers to film themselves taking a test.
Travellers must fill out a passenger locator form in the 48 hours before arriving in England.
They do not need to take a pre-departure test, a Covid test on the eighth day, or quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days upon arrival in England.
They must be able to prove they have been fully vaccinated for 14 days with either a digital or paper-based document displaying, at a minimum, their forename and surname; date of birth; vaccine brand and manufacturer; date of vaccination for every dose; country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer.
If the document does not display this information, then they must follow rules for non-vaccinated travellers or risk being denied the right to board their flight.
Fully vaccinated travellers from the US will need to prove they are US residents.
For those who are unvaccinated or do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules, a pre-departure test must be taken three days before travel to England.
They must also book and pay for day two and day eight tests to be taken after arrival in England and a passenger locator form must be filled in within 48 hours before travel.
After arrival in England, they must quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days and take the pre-booked Covid tests before day two and on day eight.
If either of these tests are positive, then they will need to take a confirmatory PCR test at no additional cost.
If they test negative, they may be able to end quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme.