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Travel news: PCR test costs challenged, France back to amber & US to reopen for Brits

an image of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco from the shore

In the travel news for August, we look at the inquiry into PCR test prices for travel, France moving back to the amber list, and how travel restrictions are changing across the globe for people who are fully vaccinated.

Keep reading to find out more.

Investigation into the cost of PCR tests for travel

Health secretary, Sajid Javid, has asked the Competition and Market Authority to investigate the cost of PCR tests for travel.

The CMA’s investigation will provide advice to Javid on how to stamp out the “exploitative behaviour” and “unfair practices” testing firms are using to charge travellers inflated and inconsistent prices.

There are concerns that the report won’t be ready quickly enough to make a difference during the main holiday season, but the idea is to reduce the barriers to travel – especially for families who wish to travel together.

France returns to amber

After a short, but unexpected, spell as the only country on the ‘amber plus’ list – France has returned to the amber list with the latest travel update.

This means fully vaccinated travellers from the UK won’t have to quarantine when they come back, in line with the rules for the other amber list countries.

Several European countries (including Germany) have been moved to the green list, while Bahrain, India, Qatar, and UAE join France in moving to the amber list.

No new categories being added to the travel lists

Speaking of the ‘amber plus’ list, the government has confirmed they won’t be adding any more lists to the travel list system.

This follows the latest travel update, amid rumours of the touted amber watchlist and the short-lived, single-country ‘amber plus’ list.

It’s hoped the move will help to simplify travel restrictions, be more user friendly and reduce the confusion of having more lists than necessary.

US plans to let Brits back in

For the first time since March 2020, travellers from the UK are set to be allowed into the US.

The plan is still in the works, but is expected to come into action sooner rather than later and to allow people who’ve been fully vaccinated in as the “first stage”.

The US is currently on the amber list, which means travellers returning to the UK face a 10-day self-isolation at home – unless they’re fully vaccinated, which means they don’t need to self-isolate.

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