THE UK Government has simplified its traffic light rules, scrapping the amber list and testing for travellers in England

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the changes, which marks a big shake-up of international travel rules south of the border, will be implemented from October 4. 

The changes apply only to England, but devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could later follow suit.

In a series of tweets, Mr Shapps said testing was being “made easier” from October 4, while current requirements for post-arrival PCR tests in England would be replaced by lateral flow tests later in October.

Meanwhile, the traffic light system of countries on green, amber and red lists is being replaced with a single red list, simplifying rules on travel for non-red list countries.

Eight countries, including Turkey, Pakistan and the Maldives, are being removed from the red list from 4am on Wednesday September 22.

He said: “TRAVEL UPDATE: we’re making testing easier for travel From Mon 4 Oct, if you’re fully vax you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country and from later in Oct, will be able to replace the day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow.

“In addition, EIGHT countries and territories will come off the red list from Weds 22 Sept at 4am, incl. TURKEY, PAKISTAN and MALDIVES.

“We’ll also be introducing a new simplified system for international travel from Mon 4 Oct , replacing the current approach with a single red list and simplified measures for the rest of the world – striking the right balance to manage the public health risk as No.1 priority.”


In a written statement, Eluned Morgan, minister for health and social services, said the Welsh Government would “carefully consider” the simplified travel measures announced for England by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

“International travel continues to represent a risk of importing coronavirus infections to Wales, especially new and emerging variants of concern. Our advice continues to be that people should only travel abroad for essential reasons,” she said.

“The border health measures in place across the UK go some way to protect against the importation of infection and the introduction of new variants.

“A four-nation collaborative approach is critical to evaluate and implement effective border control arrangements.

“As Wales shares an open border with England, and most travellers arriving in Wales enter through ports outside Wales, it is not effective to have separate border health policy arrangements for Wales.

“Today, I have agreed to remove Kenya, Oman, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Egypt from the red list. The changes will come into effect from 4am on Wednesday September 22.”

The Scottish Government is yet to comment on the changes.