Beginning today, the United Kingdom has decided to remove all remaining countries from the red list. Following a review of the most recent risk assessment from the UK Health Security Agency, the UK made this decision (UKHSA). Since the new coronavirus variant began to make its mark in countries across Europe, certain countries have been on the red list.
Eswatini, Angola, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia will be removed from the red list. This means that passengers arriving in the UK from these countries will not be subjected to hotel quarantine.
Moreover, passengers who had booked a hotel room in Managed Quarantine after 4 am, December 15 , will get a full refund. As per a statement, by the UK government, “As Omicron cases rise in the UK and countries around the world, the travel red list is less effective in slowing the incursion of the variant from abroad and these temporary measures are no longer proportionate.
The red list has served its purpose in delaying the spread of Omicron into the UK to buy time for the government to learn more about this variant and prepare for its potential impact.”
The United Kingdom has also decided to keep the pre-departure test two days before their arrival. This means that all vaccinated passengers must undergo a PCR test. They must also isolate themselves until the results of their COVID test come back negative.
The same pre-departure test rule applies to unvaccinated passengers, as well as a PCR test on the second and eighth days of self-isolation for a total of ten days.
The UK is of the view that it is important to continue with the testing in order to protect the citizens, and curb any additional cases of the new Omicron virus. According to Sajid Javid, Health and Social Care Secretary, “Omicron has spread so widely across the world, the travel Red List is now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad. Whilst we’ll maintain our temporary testing measures for international travel, we will be removing all eleven countries from the travel Red List effective 4am, December 15.”
The United Kingdom concentrates on booster vaccines for all adults in the country. According to experts, this is one of the best ways to keep the new variant of COVID 19 at bay.