The UK government has downgraded its advice against “all but essential travel” to 32 destinations, including Bangladesh, Malaysia and parts of Africa and the Pacific.
The destinations were not on the government’s red list – which currently has 52 countries and should be updated this week – but it had nevertheless advised against going there due to Covid.
The change means travelers visiting destinations are more likely to be covered by insurance policies, the majority of which are guided by official advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
This is the latest development in the gradual reopening of international travel to and from the UK. Earlier this week, the government’s much-maligned traffic light system was replaced with a single red list while testing rules for vaccinated travelers were simplified.
FCDO says advice has been relaxed “in light of improved public health in many countries and territories, better understanding of the virus and reduced risk to UK nationals following deployment vaccine ”.
He will continue to advise against all but essential travel to all Red List destinations, but is expected to lower his advice to more countries in the coming days.
“These rule adjustments will make travel easier, support businesses and families across Britain – and allow more of us to see friends and loved ones with greater peace of mind,” said Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
“We strike the right balance between ensuring people’s safety, which remains our priority, and giving them the freedom to exercise their personal responsibility, while supporting the travel industry as it continues to recover.”
The development was praised in a statement released by the ABTA travel association. “In view of the successful rollout of the vaccine in the UK, we have asked the Foreign Office to replace the general use of CTF advice against travel due to Covid risks with clear, country-specific advice in order to that travelers can make an informed choice based on their own situation. It is good to see them answer these calls today and we would be happy to see more country restrictions lifted, ”the organization said.
“We hope this marks a continuation of international travel becoming easier and more affordable so the industry can begin its path to recovery.”
The full list of destinations for which FCDO travel advice has been relaxed is as follows: Algeria, American Samoa, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Comoros, Congo, Tokelau & Niue, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.