With 47 countries being removed from the red list, the world may feel like it is opening up again.
Changes to the rules mean travellers will no longer have to quarantine in a hotel upon returning to the UK.
There is no longer a traffic light system in place for international travel. Instead, a country is either on or off the red list.
The UK has also committed to recognising the vaccine passports or equivalents of those from more countries.
These changes will have a huge impact on those who have to travel for business.
This includes those working in the oil, gas and marine sectors, even though many were classed as essential workers throughout the pandemic.
Munro’s Travel specialises in travel management for those working in energy and marine jobs.
Murray Burnett, managing director of the company, hopes the loosened restrictions will lead to more travelling for business.
He said: “The changes which remove 47 countries from the red list, meaning compulsory hotel quarantine is no longer required on return, will give corporate travellers their first real confidence to travel since March 2020.
“Many of the destinations no longer on the red list are centres of energy industry projects.
“Whilst the majority of oil and gas and marine workers were classified as essential workers throughout the pandemic and were able to travel globally, we anticipate that there will be a sharp rise in corporate travel as these global destinations open up again.”
Still waiting for US
With the changes to restrictions recently announced, many airlines have jumped at the chance to reintroduce more international flights.
Mr Burnett is encouraged by this, and says it will have a positive impact on the oil and gas sector.
He said: “Airlines are already increasing their services to countries previously on the red list, and the news that the UK will lift quarantine requirements from the previous red list countries and will recognise the vaccination programmes of many more countries, is all extremely positive for the sector.”
Not all countries are moving forward as quickly, however.
Fully vaccinated travellers are still not able to get in to the US for non essential travel.
Mr Burnett said the information on when this might change has been vague: “The next major announcement which business travellers need is the confirmed date for the opening up of travel for the fully vaccinated traveller to the US.
“Other than the indication that this would be in ‘early November’ there has been radio silence from America since then on a firm date.”
Holidays also jet off
As well as those travelling for business, the number of people jetting off on holiday is expected to increase following the easing of restrictions.
Joanne Dooey, president of Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), revealed that numbers are already rising.
She said: “We have already seen an increase recently in inquiries for travel following the removal of the pre departure test in resort.
“Popular winter sun destinations have now been removed from the red list meaning that anyone travelling back into Scotland from countries such as South Africa, the Seychelles and Mexico will no longer be required to stay in a quarantine hotel at their own expense on their return.
“Changes to the red list and testing which have been announced by the UK government are the first true boost for the travel industry in Scotland since travel ground to a halt in March 2020.”