Holidays will be made cheaper and easier for double-jabbed travellers, under changes announced by the transport secretary.
The current traffic light system of “red”, “amber” and “green” countries will be scrapped and replaced with one “red” list only, from October 4.
Eight countries are being removed from the red list from 4am on Wednesday September 22 – Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya.
The transport secretary Grant Shapps made the announcement on Friday afternoon.
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.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 17, 2021
In a series of tweets, Shapps also said testing was being “made easier”, while current requirements for post-arrival PCR tests would be replaced by lateral flow tests later in October.
The shake-up is expected to lead to a surge in bookings for foreign holidays.
Already, in the days leading up to the announcement, demand for “red” list holiday destinations started increasing in the expectation that rules would be loosened.
Shapps tweeted: “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.”
Shapps said the new system was “proportionate” and “reflects the new landscape” of the numbers of those who are fully vaccinated.
He said: “Today’s changes mean a simpler, more straightforward system. One with less testing and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones or conduct business around the world while providing a boost for the travel industry.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.