The final seven red list countries –and which ones you may soon be able to visit

Asia's Tech News Daily

dominican republic – Getty

The most controversial of the UK Government’s travel policies – hotel quarantine – is set to be scrapped. Seven countries remain on the red list following the last travel rule update; these are tipped to move out of the ‘no go’ category, based on Covid risks.

Travellers arriving from Peru, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela and Haiti will no longer be subject to a 10-day stay in a quarantine hotel on arrival in England. This policy, which was introduced in February 2021 and saw arriving Britons charged up to £2,285 per person, put swathes of the globe effectively off-limits.

Now, as much of the world has reopened to tourists – or will do in the near future – the end of this policy is a fresh boost for tourists. It also brings greater confidence in trips to Latin America and the Caribbean. One can almost imagine a baton of celebration passed between holidaymakers, the industry and those with family overseas if and when this decision is confirmed. The looming threat of a costly stint of isolation in an airport hotel would disappear.

The Inca wonders of Peru, including Machu Picchu, and the rare species of the Galapagos Islands are among the popular tourism attractions that could soon return to our travel map. Indeed, both Peru and Ecuador are open to foreign visitors. Entry restrictions and domestic Covid rules are in place, of course, but they are not necessarily prohibitive for holidaymakers.

Not all of the seven countries are typical holiday destinations, however: the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has travel warnings in place for both Venezuela and Haiti for reasons other than the Covid-19 risks. It also warns against all but essential travel to parts of Colombia and Ecuador for non Covid-related reasons.

But the FCDO should lift its advisories against travel based on Covid-19 risks to these places, if and when the Government removes them from the red list.

Here’s an overview of the situation for each country – with a little inspiration for future travel (where feasible).

Peru

Quarantine: No

Test/vaccination requirements: Yes

Luxury train rides and treks to the mystical citadel of Machu Picchu are perhaps the most enticing prospect of Peru’s potential return as a holiday prospect. The country’s Covid-related entry rules are straightforward: it doesn’t require visitors to present proof of vaccination (although it does recognise the NHS Covid Pass), but all travellers departing for Peru must have evidence of a negative PCR test result issued a maximum of 72 hours before their flight. The FCDO notes: “These rules are subject to change at short notice”.

Passengers are also required to wear two face masks on flights to Peru and to complete an affidavit before travel.

See the FCDO page for Peru for further information.

machu picchu – Getty

Dominican Republic

Quarantine: No

Test/vaccination requirements: Yes

This Caribbean country is often seen as a less costly alternative to the likes of Barbados or Antigua for an island break in a luxury resort. It is open to visitors from the UK. You will, however, need to present proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or a vaccination certificate showing a final dose administered at least three weeks before arrival (it is not stipulated on the FCDO page whether the NHS Covid Pass is accepted as proof of vaccination).

Expect your temperature to be taken on arrival. Breath tests are also carried out on randomly-selected passengers, and any showing symptoms of Covid-19. If a passenger tests positive for the virus, they will be expected to enter self-isolation. However, those who have secured a negative PCR test in the required time before arrival are exempt from the random tests. Other rules include completing a Covid Traveller’s Health Affidavit before departing to the Dominican Republic.

Among Telegraph Travel’s pick of the best places to stay is Amanera – an architecturally striking property, tucked within a remote, rainforested section on the north shore.

See the FCDO advice page for the Dominican Republic for further information.

Ecuador

Quarantine: No, unless you test positive

Test/vaccination requirements: Yes

Some of Ecuador’s land borders remain closed, but commercial flights are operating and tourists can visit. This includes the Galapagos Islands. Cruise ships have also been allowed to return to some ports.

Entry stipulations include either a negative PCR test (taken within 72 hours of arrival) or proof of full vaccination (Peru accepts the NHS Covid Pass). This applies to all passengers aged two or over.

Other rules include completing a Health Declaration Form on arrival in Ecuador, including your itinerary and local contact details.

Tourist activities on, and connecting flights to, the Galapagos Islands have resumed. Another test may be required for any travellers over two years old who aren’t vaccinated. Either proof of immunisation or a negative PCR result taken within 72 hours before the date of the flight to the islands is required for entry. Tourists to the Galapagos must also show evidence of their return flight and a Galapagos Transit Control Card, which must be completed at least 24 hours before the flight. Travel insurance is also mandatory.

galapagos sea lions – Getty

If and when Ecuador is removed from the red list, dream trips to admire the strange and wondrous inhabitants of the islands can resume. Blue-footed boobies, Galápagos penguins, Galápagos sea lions, and the Galápagos frigate (recognisable by its postbox-red pouch) are among its stars – not forgetting, of course, the Galápagos tortoise.

See the FCDO page for Ecuador for further information.

Colombia

Quarantine: No

Test/vaccination requirements: No

Colombia’s borders are open. You’ll need to meet the following requirements to visit: you cannot enter if you have symptoms of Covid-19, have tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive in the last 14 days; complete the ‘Check-Mig’ form available on the Migración Colombia website, between 24 hours and one hour before departure (this will generate a confirmation email that must be presented on arrival).

Additionally, surgical masks must be worn by all passengers over two years throughout the journey. Before the pandemic, Colombia had enjoyed a tourism boom. Should you fancy planning a trip to the country, urban destinations full of colourful streets and history to decipher include: the capital, Botoga, the second city (Medellin) and the Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena. Colombia’s natural attractions also abound – the Amazon basin stretches over almost one-third of its territory, coral reefs and islands offer stunning diving opportunities and Tayrona National Park is one of South America’s prettiest.

See the FCDO advice page for Colombia for more information.

Panama

Quarantine: No, unless not fully vaccinated

Test/vaccination requirements: Yes

Panama is open to UK travellers, although entry rules are in place. Visitors arriving are not required to take a Covid test or quarantine on arrival as long as they have registered digitally and present proof of vaccination (Panama accepts the NHS Covid Pass). This applies to all travellers aged 12 or over. Those coming from a country considered to have a high epidemiological risk (including the UK) who are not full vaccinated must present a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of arrival or pay for a test at the airport and complete 72 hours of quarantine at their own expense, before undergoing another test; if this test comes back negative they will be allowed to end their quarantine. Cruises of the Panama Canal and wildlife tours are among the holidays that might tempt you to explore this country.

See the FCDO advice page for Panama for more information.

panama – Getty

Venezuela

Quarantine: No, unless you test positive

Test/vaccination requirements: Yes

Venezuela is open to foreign visitors, with entry stipulations. However, the FCDO advises against all travel to some parts of the country for security reasons, and all but essential travel to its remaining areas due to “ongoing crime and instability”. This is in addition to its advice against all but essential travel due to Covid-19 risks, which would likely lift should it be struck from the red list.

The non Covid-related warnings mean that a trip to the country would not be inadvisable and it will be trickier to secure travel insurance.

See the FCDO advice page for Venezuela for more information.

Haiti

Quarantine: Possibly; the FCDO details that “You may be asked to self isolate for 14 days in your own accommodation”

Test/vaccination requirements: Yes

Haiti’s borders are open, but visitors are subject to entry requirements. That said, the FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the country “due to the volatile security situation” (as well, as it stands, the Covid-19 risks). It would not be advisable to travel to the country for a holiday and it will be harder to secure travel insurance to do so.

See the FCDO advice page for Haiti for more information.

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