International: UK removes 11 African countries from Covid-19 travel red list
The UK has announced its decision to remove 11 African countries from its red list, stating that the travel restrictions are no longer effective in curbing the spread of Omicron as it has already become widespread in the country.
London: The UK has announced its decision to remove 11 African countries from its red list, stating that the travel restrictions are no longer effective in curbing the spread of Omicron as it has already become widespread in the country.
According to an official statement issued on Tuesday, "Passengers returning from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe will not have to stay in a managed quarantine hotel on arrival in England from this (December 15) date."
Citing reason for its decision, the government said the travel red list is "less effective" in curbing the spread of Omicron 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 statement said.
It, however, added that the vaccinated people arriving in the UK will have to take a pre-departure test two days before they depart for the UK and will again have to take a PCR test on or before day 2. The passengers will have to isolate themselves until they receive a negative report.
Meanwhile, the unvaccinated passengers will have to take a pre-departure test, PCR test on day 2 and 8, and self-isolate for 10 days, the government said.
The UK government will review the measures, the red list, testing for arrivals and self-isolation requirements for vaccinated travellers – on January 5, the statement added.
The latest decision by the UK comes days after World Health Organization's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus condemned the countries for issuing travel bans and said the bans would be ineffective.
Since the initial detection of the Omicron variant in southern Africa several countries, including the UK and the US, had issued travel bans and quarantine measures for people coming from the southern African nations. (UNI)