The UK has issued a notice to remove the 11 African countries from its red list of flights. The red list was a strategy for the country to reactively contain the spread of the omicron. They introduced it in late November 2021.
While on the red list, passengers that visited the UK passed through a mandatory 10 days hotel quarantine. The arrivals, per requirements paid for and self-isolate in a pre-booked, government-approved hotel for the period. While the infection keeps on spreading, they have been removed from the red list to a total ban for the meantime.
These affected African countries were Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Secretary for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javidddressed the House of Commons on the need to disband the red list. According to him, the new variant, omicron is spreading rapidly. Unfortunately, the red list initiative they introduced to restrict travelling has failed to contain the spread. As a result, a total disbanding of flights from the red list countries is a must.
“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,” he 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 4 am tomorrow morning.”
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This means it will take effect from the morning of December 15.
During the red list initiative, some travellers paid thousands of pounds to stay in government-approved quarantine hotels. Meanwhile, there were complaints of chaotic organization and inedible food during their stays.