The UK government announced it is scrapping the red list for international travel from 4 AM, Wednesday 15 December.
Announced by health secretary Sajid Javid in the House of Commons today, Tuesday 14 December, the move comes in response to the rapid global spread of the omicron coronavirus variant.
Several ministers had suggested that the list be scrapped in previous days now that the UK has seen widespread cases unrelated to recent travels.
“Now that there is community transmission, the travel red less is less effective,” said Mr Javid.
The recently announced testing requirements, however, will stay in place. All arrivals, regardless of where they fly from, must take COVID-19 tests within 48 hours of setting off for the UK and PCR tests within two days of their arrival.
Recall, entry into the UK was banned for countries that were on the red list. A total of 11 African nations were put on the UK’s formerly empty red list between 29 November and 4 December, including South Africa and Nigeria, with returning travellers given short notice that they would have to pay thousands for hotel quarantine in the UK.
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