The UK government announced this Tuesday that all 11 countries will be removed from the travel red list, due to the Omicron variant, as of 4:00 am on Wednesday, advances the ‘BBC’.
Angola, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe are on the list, which was reintroduced in late November as a precaution following the emergence of the new variant.
However, the British Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid, said the spread was so wide that the specific restrictions for these countries no longer make sense.
“Now that there is community broadcasting of Omicron in the UK and it has spread widely around the world, the travel red list is less effective in slowing down its foray from abroad,” he told parliament.
The government official added: “While we maintain our temporary test measures for international travel, we will remove all 11 countries from the travel red list by 4 am tomorrow morning.”
Currently, all people arriving in the UK from countries on the red list must lock up in a pre-booked, government-approved hotel for 10 days.
In addition, they must also take Covid tests within 48 hours of departure to the UK and PCR tests within two days of arrival.
Tim Alderslade, director of the airlines UK trade group, said removing all countries from the red list makes “perfect sense” but that the government should also rule out Covid testing for all arrivals.