All countries on the UK’s red travel list have been removed, Sajid Javid has announced.
Flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe had been subject to strict quarantine measures since Friday, December 3, with Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia later added to the list the following week.
The Health Secretary said on December 14 that all 11 countries on the coronavirus travel red list would be removed from 4am on Wednesday, December 15.
He said the spread of Omicron in the UK and the world means the travel red list is "now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad".
– What is the ‘red list’?
It is a Government list of countries from which people travelling to the UK are subjected to stringent restrictions in a bid to protect the UK from coronavirus variants of concern.
– What determines which countries are added?
A range of factors are assessed, including evidence of new variants being exported to the UK or other countries, and a country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
The Department of Health has said the expansion of the list is justified given scientists’ concern over the Omicron variant.
– What countries are on the list?
There are no countries on the red list at present
– What impact does being on the list have on travel?
People who have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days are not allowed to enter the UK, unless they are a UK or Irish national or have residence rights in the UK.
– What about quarantine hotels and testing?
People who are allowed to enter the UK from a red list country must quarantine in a Government-approved hotel for at least 10 days.
The hotel costs £2,285 per adult for a 10-day stay. The additional rate for another adult – or child over 11 – is £1,430 and £325 for children aged 5 to 11.