Thailand will end quarantine for fully vaccinated UK travellers, as British COVID advice has been relaxed making it easier to visit almost 90 countries.
Forty-seven nations were taken off the red list at 4am, meaning anyone arriving from places including South Africa, Brazil and Argentina no longer need to quarantine in a hotel.
In addition, advice against non-essential travel to a further 42 countries and territories has been lifted too.
Now Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said the country will gradually reopen, with quarantine requirements lifted for vaccinated visitors from ten low-risk countries – including the UK, Singapore, China and Germany.
It comes as the UK’s list of places with “approved proof” of COVID-19 vaccination is now considerably longer.
One knock-on effect is that people will find it easier to buy travel insurance for trips to those destinations.
The red list now contains just seven countries, all of them in Central and South America. They are: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the changes will allow people to “exercise personal responsibility”.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said renewed freedom will help boost the UK’s finances as a whole.
“Restoring people’s confidence in travel is key to rebuilding our economy,” he said.
“With less restrictions and more people travelling, we can all continue to move safely forward together along our pathway to recovery.”
When the changes were announced in advance last week, travel companies reported a spike in bookings.
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of travel association ABTA, said the smaller red list is a “sensible step forward” and means now is the “best time in a long time” to book an overseas holiday.
British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle said the UK will “benefit” from the changes.
It is resuming flights to South Africa’s Cape Town and increasing services to Johannesburg and Mexico – and to the US in November, after Washington said it would lift a travel ban on fully vaccinated UK and EU travellers.