UK scraps red list as ministers admit omicron spread makes travel restrictions pointless

The UK Government has confirmed that they are removing red list to travel internationally.

Announced by Health Secretary Sajid Javid in the House of Commons today, the move comes in response to the rapid global spread of the omicron variant coronavirus, which ministers acknowledge has given the level of the most strict Travel restrictions unnecessary.

The 11 African countries currently designated by the Ministry of Transport as “high risk” will be removed from the red list from 4am on December 15.

“Now that there is community spread, less red travel is less effective,” said Mr Javid.

However, the recently announced test requirements will still be maintained.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted: “All current testing measures remain in place and will be reviewed in the first week of January.

“As always, we keep all of our travel measures under review and we may impose new restrictions if necessary to do so to protect public health.”

Test requirements vary depending on whether those arriving in the UK are fully vaccinated: the group had to previously present a negative lateral flow test prior to departure and order a PCR test to be done within two days of entry, while the latter group must also have been scheduled for an 8-day PCR test and a 10-day quarantine.

A total of 11 African countries were placed on the UK’s previously empty red list between 29 November and 4 December, including South Africa and Nigeria, with returning travelers given short notice. that they will have to pay thousands of people to quarantine hotels in the UK.

South Africa and nine other countries, including safari favorites Botswana and Namibia, have only 16 days on the red list this time around.

It’s not clear at this time whether people detained at the current quarantine hotel will be allowed to self-quarantine anytime soon – and if so, whether they will be able to claim a refund for the rest of their stay. Are not.

Africa guide Paul Goldstein said: “I really hope the government doesn’t expect any thanks for this.

“They alone have destroyed the Christmas/New Year market in much of Africa as well as damaged confidence in the UK tourism industry.”

Many of those who have traveled to the red list countries within a few weeks that they have returned to the list are currently in their 10-day hotel quarantine.

Louise Hemus Fox, currently under hotel quarantine at the Gatwick Sofitel, told The Independent: “At least we should be allowed to go out when we receive the eight-day test. Not sitting here until midnight on the 10th.

“The whole thing is utter nonsense. This has absolutely nothing to do with infection control, it’s just a bureaucracy.” UK scraps red list as ministers admit omicron spread makes travel restrictions pointless

Tom Vazquez

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