Britain to open up more travel by scrapping hotel quarantine for dozens of countries: Report

A traveller walks past a sign directing the public to a Covid-19 testing centre at Heathrow airport's Terminal 5 in London.
A traveller walks past a sign directing the public to a Covid-19 testing centre at Heathrow airport's Terminal 5 in London.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will open up more countries for hotel quarantine-free travel later this week, The Sunday Telegraph reported, saying that Britain's "red list" of destinations would be slashed to nine from 54.

Fully vaccinated arrivals from countries including South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia will no longer have to quarantine in a government-designated hotel for 10 days when they get to England from later in October, the newspaper said.

The changes are set to be announced on Thursday, and will likely result in a surge of bookings, boosting airlines and travel companies that have been brought to their knees during the pandemic.

The country's hotel quarantine policy for higher risk countries costs £2,285 (S$4,200) per adult, deterring global travel.

Britain is already planning to relax its travel rules from Oct 4 by scrapping its amber list for medium risk destinations and no longer requiring fully vaccinated passengers to take a Covid-19 test before they arrive in the country from places not on the red list.

The government has said that from later in October, arrivals in England will no longer have to take a PCR test two days after arrival and can instead opt for the cheaper lateral flow test.