Omicron variant: UK removes Nigeria, ten others from travel red list

December 15, 2021
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The United Kingdom has said that all 11 countries will be removed from its travel red list from 4a.m today.

Nigeria, Angola, Botswana, Eswa­tini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe are on the list.

The red list was reintroduced in late November as a precaution after the emergence of the Omicron variant.

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But Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, said it had spread so widely the rules no longer had much purpose.

“Now that there is com­munity transmission of Omi­cron in the UK and Omicron has spread so widely across the world, the travel red list is now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad,” Javid told par­liament.

“Whilst we will maintain our temporary testing mea­sures for international travel we will be removing all 11 countries from the travel red list effective from 4a.m tomor­row morning.”

Currently, all UK arrivals from red list countries must pay for and self-isolate in a pre-booked, government-approved hotel for 10 days.

They must also take COVID tests within 48 hours of setting off for the UK and PCR tests within two days of their ar­rival.

Some arrivals have already paid thousands of pounds to stay in government-approved quarantine hotels, and there have been complaints of cha­otic organisation and inedible food during their stays.

Mr. Javid said he had asked for urgent advice on whether those currently in managed quarantine would be able to leave early.

He also said he was “very persuaded” by calls to reim­burse people and hoped to make an announcement soon.

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