The UK travel red list is set to be cut in a government announcement today – only nine countries remain.
The list still counts 54 countries, including Thailand, Mexico and Cuba.
A decision on which countries will be removed from England’s red list is expected to be taken after a meeting of government ministers later today.
It is hoped that Mexico, Brazil and South Africa could be among those removed from the red list.
Paul Charles, managing director of travel consultancy The PC Agency, predicted that only a handful of “less visited areas” such as Afghanistan, Haiti and Somalia would remain on the red list, with “general measures on l ‘Africa and South America being abolished “.
He said it would be “a big step forward” because it means the government “will finally move to a policy of individual risk”.
The removal from the red list of Mexico, South Africa and Thailand would send “a boost of confidence in the sector and among consumers”, he explained.
Mr Charles said it was “very difficult to justify” why countries are on the list “when there are no new worrisome variants out there”.
He continued: “This is why Ireland has taken all countries off their red list because they see no threat. So the UK should follow suit.”
The London-based World Travel and Tourism Council, which represents private companies, said the sector’s recovery would continue to be “slow” due to policies such as the UK’s red list.
The organization has predicted that the contribution of travel and tourism to global gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase by less than a third in 2021.
Meanwhile, coronavirus data analyst Tim White believes âup to 18â countries could remain on the red list.
Writing on Twitter, he described reports that the list could be reduced to just nine as “optimistic.”
Mexico “seems certain to be deleted” but Thailand “may well stay red,” White predicted.
Anyone arriving in the UK from a Red Level location must currently spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel, at a cost of Â£ 2,285 per person.
Travelers who are not fully vaccinated must self-isolate at home for 10 days when returning from a country not on the red list, but those who have been bitten are now exempt.
The foreign ministry’s advice against travel to 32 countries was dropped yesterday, including Fiji, Malaysia and Bangladesh.
The government can use the travel update to confirm when fully vaccinated people arriving in England can use a cheaper lateral flow test rather than a PCR version for their second-day test.
The transport ministry said on Monday that the policy would be implemented “later in October”, adding that the government “aims to put it in place for the return of people after a mid-term vacation”.