UK to remove all countries from COVID-19 red list from Wednesday
14 Dec 2021
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Gulf Today Report
The British government has decided to remove all 11 countries from its COVID19 travel red list from Wednesday.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid told parliament that now a community transmission of Omicron is an issue.
The 11 countries which will be removed from the list are Angola, Botswana, Eswantini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The UK government added southern African countries to its red list at the end of November, meaning only people were allowed entry UK were citizens or residents who then must quarantine in a hotel, in a bid to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.
"Now that there is community transmission of Omicron in the UK and Omicron has spread so widely across the world, the travel Red list is now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad," Javid said.
“Even if we maintain our temporary testing measures for international travel, we will be removing the 11 countries from the red list effective from 4am on Wednesday.
Britain requires all arriving travellers to complete a PCR or rapid lateral flow test no more than 48 hours before departure.
Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said those test measures will be reviewed in the first week of January.
"As always, we keep all our travel measures under review and we may impose new restrictions should there be a need to do so to protect public health," he said on Twitter.