The Government’s travel traffic light system is being scrapped within days. The green, amber, and red lists will cease to exist and will be replaced by just two, simpler lists.
The UK’s Covid travel red list will be reduced to just nine countries within a few days, according to reports.
There are currently 54 “red” nations, which were put on the list because of high Covid rates and a slow vaccine rollout.
Britons travelling to those countries have had to pay to quarantine in a hotel on their return to the UK, resulting in huge costs.
But from this week, there will be fewer countries on the red list, making it easier for Britons to travel internationally.
From Tuesday, October 5, the UK’s green, amber, and red lists will be scrapped and replaced by just two lists.
These will be red and Rest of World (ROW).
People travelling to and from the red nations will still be forced to follow strict Covid rules, but many popular destinations will now be easier for Britons to visit.
South Africa, Brazil, and Mexico are all expected to be opened up to quarantine-free travel in time for the October half-term holiday.
Cape Verde and Indonesia are also set to be removed from the red list and placed on the ROW list, along with green and amber nations.
Even Thailand could become a quarantine-free destination, but this is not yet certain.
The changes are expected to be announced on Thursday, October 7.
The existing red list will then be updated every three weeks after this date.
A Whitehall source told the Sunday Telegraph: “We are expecting sharp reductions in the red list.
“It could be as few as nine countries left on the list.”
The source said ministers wanted to avoid a travel policy that “is unnecessarily restricted”, adding: “Targeted quarantine will remain, but in fewer places.”
A second source confirmed that the red list is expected to be reduced “substantially”.
All travellers who enter the UK from a red list destination must pay thousands of pounds for a 10-day stay in a quarantine hotel, a requirement which will remain in place even after the scrapping of the travel traffic light system.
However, fully vaccinated passengers arriving from all ROW countries will no longer have to take a pre-departure test before returning to the UK.
But they are still required to take a day-two PCR test on return up until late October.
Unvaccinated holidaymakers must continue to take the pre-departure test, and must self-isolate for 10 days on their return to the UK from all ROW countries.
Currently, many European countries are on the Government’s green list, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Norway, and Iceland.
France, Spain, and mainland Portugal are currently amber, but they will be given the same status as green destinations from Tuesday, October 5.