These are the countries on the red list and the restrictions – Times Travel – The Times

Covid-related restrictions may be in place. Please check Foreign Office advice and testing/quarantine requirements in your destination before booking.
Rory Goulding
Friday September 17 2021, 16:52pm
The red list, first introduced in February 2021 together with hotel quarantine, was first introduced in February 2021 and mandated 11 nights of hotel quarantine. It includes South America and most of Central America, alongside most of southern Africa.
In the September 17 travel update, the transport secretary Grant Shapps announced that holiday heavy-hitters including Turkey, Oman and the Maldives would move off the risky register, as at 4am from September 22, bringing the total number of red list countries to 54.
As part of the same announcement, Mr Shapps said that the traffic-light system would be disbanded, to be simplified into the red and the “rest of world” list (which would catch every other country not on the risky register).
In another win for holidaymakers, the pre-departure test has been scrapped for double-jabbed holidaymakers from October 4; while the transport secretary Grant Shapps announced that later in October the pricey day 2 PCR test will be replaced by cheaper lateral flows.
Here’s what you need to know about the red register. Note that the rules below apply to England. Scotland has instead moved the eight former red-listers to its amber list.
Main photo: the Kukulkan pyramid at Chichen-Itza — Mexico remains on the red list (Getty Images)
Pigeon Point beach, Tobago (Alamy)
There are 54 countries and territories on the red list. All of mainland South America is on the red list, plus Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago. The other big red-list region is southern and eastern Africa.
In the September 17 update, eight countries moved to England’s “rest of world” list: Kenya, Oman, Egypt, the Maldives, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The changes will take effect from 4am on September 22.
Here’s the full list:
Cape Verde
Congo (Democratic Republic)
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
French Guiana
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Trinidad and Tobago
Wajag Island, West Papua, Indonesia (Getty Images)
The biggest deterrent to travel to red-list countries is the compulsory hotel quarantine on return to the UK. It lasts for ten full days after your arrival day, there is no option of Test to Release on day five, and the bill comes to £2,285 for 11 nights for a single adult — or an eye-watering £6,575 for a couple with two children over 11. There are further requirements involving additional PCR tests and passenger locator forms, but the enforced hotel stay with (by many accounts) dubious food and guaranteed cabin fever is by far the biggest burden. And this all applies regardless of whether you are fully vaccinated or not.
In the market in Istanbul. Turkey was moved off the red list in the September 17 update (Getty Images)
Flights may still be operating, given the need for many to visit relatives, for example. But the UK government position remains “you should not travel to red-list countries or territories”, although this is guidance only.
Even if you are prepared to sit out your hotel quarantine time and pay for the privilege, be aware that red-list countries will invariably have additional Foreign Office advice to avoid all but essential travel there because of Covid-19 risks. It’s this advisory — not the traffic-light system — that insurance companies pay attention to. Effectively, if you go to a red-list country, you will for the most part be travelling uninsured.
Government decisions about which countries and territories should go on the green, amber or red lists are made based on advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre. The “default” position is amber, but a country can be placed on the green or red lists if it looks to be performing well or badly against a number of factors. The main one is whether Covid-19 cases in the country show many “variants of concern”; but other factors include local testing and case rates, reliability of data, and strength of travel connections with the UK or with places affected by variants.
Anse Source d’Argent beach in the Seychelles (Getty Images)
Since early June, the lists have been reviewed every three weeks. The last update was September 17. However, as the traffic-light system is being scrapped, it’s not yet known whether the three-week timetable will be stuck to. If it is, the next update would be scheduled for on or around October 8.
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