UK removes all 11 countries from red list

BY: bbc.com
UK removes all 11 countries from red list

The government has said that all 11 countries will be removed from the UK's travel red list from 4am on Wednesday.

Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe are on the list.

The red list was reintroduced in late November as a precaution after the emergence of the Omicron variant.

But Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it had spread so widely the rules no longer had much purpose.

"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."

All UK arrivals from red list countries are required to pay for and self-isolate in a pre-booked, government-approved hotel for 10 days.

But with all 11 countries being removed from that list, it was confirmed that those currently in managed quarantine would be allowed to leave early and "follow the rules as if they had arrived from a non-red list country".

Some travellers had paid thousands of pounds to stay in government-approved quarantine hotels, with complaints of chaotic organisation and inedible food during their stays.

Anyone who has tested positive will to remain in isolation, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Stephen Barclay told the House of Commons.

Mr Javid also said earlier he was "very persuaded" by calls to reimburse people and hoped to make an announcement on that soon.