Author: Neha Gohil
A simple guide to all the latest Foreign Office advice for countries in South Asia
The government is expected to announce big changes to its travel traffic light system this week.
The next update will see countries moving across the government’s red, amber and green lists and is expected either later today (September 15) or tomorrow (September 16).
And, if things weren’t confusing enough, the travel system is expected to be overhauled before the end of September with more simplified “go” or “don’t go” lists, according to the Mail Online.
It can be difficult to keep on top of ever-changing travel restrictions, so we’ve got a simple guide to all the latest Foreign Office advice for countries in South Asia.
India was moved to the amber list in August.
Passengers who have had two doses of the coronavirus vaccine do not need to quarantine in the UK when returning from a country on the amber list.
Before you travel to a country on the amber list, you must take a Covid-19 test, book and pay for Covid-19 tests and complete a passenger locator form.
According to the Foreign Office, all regularly scheduled international flights remain suspended in India.
However, under a bilateral agreement between the UK and Indian governments, a limited number of flights between India and the UK continue to operate.
Arrivals into India from the UK will be subject to thermal screening by health officials and passengers are expected to comply with all instructions and screening requirements.
Before travelling, passengers must get a visa.
According to the Foreign Office: “The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has issued new guidelines permitting all OCI and PIO card holders to visit India.
“All other foreign nationals intending to visit India may visit on any visa except for a Tourist Visa, which still has not been reinstated.”
Pakistan was placed on the red list in April and has not moved since.
The Government has stated people should not travel to countries on the red list.
Upon arriving in the UK from a red list country, you must quarantine in a Government-managed hotel for 10 days.
Travel experts predict Pakistan could be moved from the red list to the amber list this week, according to the Mail Online.
The government will have to review a number of criteria to determine whether it is safe to travel to Pakistan before making the decision.
The criteria includes:
- The percentage of a country’s population that has been vaccinated against Covid-19
- The rate of infection in the country
- How prevalent any variants of concern are in the country
- The country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing
So keep your eyes on Foreign Office advice to see if Pakistan does, in fact, move to the amber list.
Bangladesh is on the government’s red list.
If you have been in a country on the government’s red list in the last 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK.
When arriving in the UK from a red list country, you must quarantine in a government managed hotel and take two Covid-19 tests.
Despite this, the Mail Online reports that Bangladesh may be one of 24 countries expected to move from the red list to amber in this week’s travel update.
Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency travel consultancy, told Mail Online: “With no new Variants of Concern since early May, and with the UK having higher levels of Delta infection than most other countries, there is no reason to keep so many countries on the red list.
“It can be sharply reduced in size to help Global Britain, as well as the travel sector, recover strongly. There is no scientific basis anymore on which to prevent travel and enforce hotel quarantine from a vast swathe of the existing list.”
Sri Lanka is also on the government’s red list.
The country is expected to remain on the red list for the next coming weeks.
The government is not permitting travel to countries on the red list and arrivals are expected to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.
Nepal is on the Government’s red list.
Passengers arriving from a country on the red list must quarantine in a Government-managed hotel for 10 days.
The cost of staying at a quarantine hotel, which is mandatory if you travel from a country on the red list, increased by more than £500.
The price of a single adult rose from £1,750 to £2,285 on August 12.