UK Health Secretary, Sajid Javid on Tuesday confirmed that all countries will be removed from the Government’s international travel red list from 4am Wednesday due to the domestic community transmission of Covid-19 Omicron variant and that it has spread widely across the world.
Javid said that having countries on red list is now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad.
Last month, UK introduced the red list after South African authorities became the first to alert the world of the Omicron variant.
The red list includes 11 African countries – Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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Javid said, “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,” he told parliament.
“Whilst we will maintain our temporary testing measures for international travel we will be removing all 11 countries from the travel red list effective from 4am tomorrow morning.”
Currently, only UK citizens or residents are allowed entry from the red list countries. Upon arrival, travelers from these countries must pay for and self-isolate in a pre-booked, government-approved hotel for 10 days.
In addition, they must also take Covid-19 tests within 48 hours of setting off for the UK and PCR tests within two days of their arrival.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.