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Arrivals travelling from Red list countries will be required to book a quarantine package before departure, while arrivals from Amber and Green countries will be required to book test packages from a list of providers before they travel.


The government also stressed it would “work with the travel industry and private testing providers ahead of international travel reopening to see how we can further reduce the cost of travel for the British public”.


It added this could include cheaper tests being used when holidaymakers return home, as well as whether the government would be able to provide pre-departure tests.


International travel ’vital’


Elsewhere, the government has announced plans to digitise the Passenger Locator Form, which it said would be integrated into the UK border system with checks to take place at e-gates by autumn 2021.


Announcing the measures, Shapps said: “International travel is vital – it boosts businesses and underpins the UK economy – but more than that, it brings people together, connects families who have been kept apart, and allows us to explore new horizons.


“The framework announced today will help allow us to reopen travel safely and sustainably, ensure we protect our hard-won achievements on the vaccine roll out and offer peace of mind to both passengers and industry as we begin to take trips abroad once again.”


The government’s traffic light system will work as follows:

  • Green: Arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a PCR test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into the UK but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday
  • Amber: Arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of ten days and take a pre-departure test, a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 with the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early
  • Red: Arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for “red list” countries which includes a 10 day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8

The government also noted it was "prepared to put the emergency brakes on reopening international travel" if it perceives a net risk to the four tests underpinning its Covid-19 roadmap.


These are: that the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully; vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths; infections do not risk unsustainable pressure on the NHS; and assessment of risks is not fundamentally changed by new "variants of concern".


What are your thoughts on the government’s plans to restart international travel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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