Sanwar Ali: UK Visas after COVID red-list countries slashed

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By Sanwar Ali:

With the easing of restrictions and the huge reduction in red list countries many more migrants to the UK will find travel much easier.  However, Scotland and Wales have different COVID-19 rules.  


Only 7 countries on the red list now

Almost all the red list countries were removed from the list for England from 4am on 11 October 2021.  47 countries were removed from the list leaving just 7 countries on the red list.  Therefore only passengers from the 7 countries in the list need to meet the hotel quarantine requirements.  This is very expensive and costs from about £2,000 for a single traveller.  Currently the following are the red list countries 

  • Colombia

  • Dominican Republic

  • Ecuador

  • Haiti

  • Panama

  • Peru

  • Venezuela


Fully vaccinated passengers can now just do a day 2 test when arriving in the UK.  Those who are not fully vaccinated (with an authorised vaccine) must still meet the following requirements:

  • Pre-departure test.

  • A day 2 and day 8 test.

  • complete 10 days self-isolation.  There is also an option of “Test to Release” on day 5.


Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said

“Our robust border measures have helped protect the phenomenal progress of our vaccination programme, and it is because of this success both here and around the world that we can safely open up travel further and we can visit friends and family abroad.”

“We’re now making it easier and cheaper for people to travel by allowing fully vaccinated travellers from non-red list countries to use lateral flow tests on day 2 of arrival, as long as they provide proof of use.”


From late October cheaper lateral flow test can be used

Many travellers will also be pleased to hear that from late October they will be able to take the much cheaper lateral flow test instead of the PCR test when returning to the UK.   Those taking postal tests will be able to take a picture of the lateral flow test to verify the test result.  


Surge in travel bookings following reduction in red list countries

Tourism favourites removed from the red list include Mexico, Thailand and South Africa.  Immigrants wishing to visit family members in countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh continue to be able to do so without worrying about red list restrictions.  These countries had already been removed from the red list countries. can help with Sponsor Licences

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