Turkey among 37 countries affected by new UK vaccination rules

British government has amended vaccination criteria for arrivals from 37 countries from Monday

Visitors from 37 countries will be able to enter the UK from 4am on Monday if they can prove they have had an approved vaccine.

The government will now recognise vaccines for arrivals from countries including Brazil, Ghana, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey.

Approved vaccines for UK arrivals include those produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

The decision means fully vaccinated people entering England from these locations will be exempt from quarantine, the pre-departure test and the day eight test. They will still have to take a test on day two of their stay.

No date has been set for when eligible fully vaccinated arrivals will be able to use a lateral flow test for their day-two test, rather than the more expensive PCR version.

The government said its “ambition” is for this to be in place “for people returning from half-term breaks by the end of the month”.

Travellers will be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test result as a minimum requirement to verify its accuracy and keep prices down when day-two tests switch to lateral flow this month, followed by a free PCR test if positive.

The move follows a government announcement on Thursday that Covid-19 red list travel restrictions will be reduced to seven countries − Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

“Our robust border measures have helped protect the phenomenal progress of our vaccination programme, and it is because of this success both here and around the world that we can safely open up travel further and we can visit friends and family abroad," British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.

“We’re now making it easier and cheaper for people to travel by allowing fully vaccinated travellers from non-red list countries to use lateral flow tests on day two of arrival, as long as they provide proof of use.”

British Airways said it would resume services and increase frequencies to some winter sun destinations being removed from the red list, such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, in South Africa, Mexico City and Cancun in Mexico, Sao Paulo in Brazil; and Buenos Aires in Argentina.

“It finally feels like we are seeing light at the end of a very long tunnel," said the airline’s chief executive, Sean Doyle.

“Britain will benefit from this significant reduction in red list countries and now it’s time to turn our attention to eradicating testing for fully vaccinated travellers, to ensure we don’t lose our place on the global stage.”

A man and woman embrace at the arrivals department of Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5. Photo: Tolga Akmen / AFP

Charlie Cornish, boss of Manchester Airports Group – which owns Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports – said: “Removing so many countries from the red list gives people the most choice they have had since before the pandemic, which will help to stimulate the recovery of the UK’s prized aviation sector.”

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “It’s been a long time coming but at last we’re seeing the layers of complexity peeled away.”

Updated: October 07, 2021, 8:31 PM