This post was written by Chiedza Lunga, Industry Secondee to ADS.

Last Friday, 17 September, Grant Shapps MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, updated the House of Commons on a simplified system for international travel that will create a simpler travel list and cut the cost of testing for most travellers.

From 4 October, the current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world. From the end of October, eligible fully vaccinated passengers, and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England.

Passengers who aren’t recognised as being fully vaccinated with authorised vaccines and certificates under England’s international travel rules, will still have to take a pre-departure test, a day 2 and day 8 PCR test and self-isolate for 10 days upon their return from a non-red list country under the new two-tiered travel programme.

With cheaper testing on the return home, safe travel to countries around the world will become more accessible for tourism and business by removing a significant barrier to international travel.

ADS has previously called for full vaccination to unlock quarantine-free travel and this is a welcome and much-needed move. It is an important step which will go a long way to restarting international travel and supporting the aerospace and aviation sectors in the UK, underpinning jobs and investment across the UK.

Commenting on changes to the UK rules for international travel, ADS Chief Executive Kevin Craven said:

“Simpler travel lists and a switch to lower cost testing for most travellers in future are welcome steps that build on the success of vaccination programmes here and overseas.

“While numbers of flights in Europe have recovered to less than 30 per cent below pre-crisis levels, in the UK we have experienced a slower aviation recovery to date.

“These changes will help to support a full recovery that will benefit the travel sector, the UK’s high value aerospace industry and our whole economy.”