(15 Dec 2021)
 
The UK has removed all countries from its
recently reintroduced red list.

The eleven countries which had been on the list
were: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique,
Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Those countries were removed from the list at
04:00 UK time on Wednesday, 15 December 2021, because

All those who have been staying in a quarantine
hotel, as per regulations, will now be allowed to leave as long as
they test negative for COVID19.

Windsor Castle in England. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com

All vaccinated passengers arriving in the UK must
continue to take a pre-departure test (PCR or lateral flow) 2 days
before they depart for the UK and must take a PCR test on or
before day 2 and self-isolate until they receive a negative
result.

Unvaccinated passengers must also take a
pre-departure test, PCR test on day 2 and 8, and self-isolate for
10 days.

Test to release remains an option to shorten
their self-isolation period.

“With community transmission here as well as
similar rates around the world, it’s right that we remove the 11
countries from our red list and these changes are the next
sensible steps as we continue to tackle this variant. We remain
focused on meeting our booster target for all adults by the end of
the year, and while we will keep our travel testing measures in
place for now, we will review this position in the first week of
January,” said  Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary. “While all
countries have now been removed from the red list, the managed
quarantine hotel policy remains in place to act as a crucial line
of defence against the importation of variants of concern.
Restrictions will be re-imposed should there be a need to do so to
protect public health.”

As early evidence seems to point to a reduced
incubation period for the Omicron variant, passengers are being
advised to take the pre-departure test as close as possible to
their scheduled departure to the UK and no earlier than 2 days
before departure.

Airlines are supposed to check all passengers for
their pre-departure test result as well as completed a Passenger
Locator Form. Passengers will not be allowed to board a flight
without providing evidence of a negative test result. 

In a televised address on Sunday evening, Boris
Johnson, PM, said the UK is “now facing an emergency in our battle with
the new variant, Omicron” and that “there is a tidal wave of
Omicron coming, and I am afraid that it is now clear that two
doses of vaccine are simply not enough to give the level of
protection we all need.”

The new measures, including the red list, testing
for arrivals and self-isolation requirements for vaccinated
travellers, will be reviewed again early on 5 January 2022.

Boris Johnson Warns of
a Tidal Wave of Omicron

[embedded content]


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