All 11 countries on the red list have been removed off the UK’s list

All 11 countries on the red list have been removed off the UK’s list

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

The red list was reinstated late November as a precaution after the Omicron variant emerged.

But Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the rules were no longer relevant.

"The travel red list is now less effective in stopping the entry of Omicron from overseas," he told Parliament.

As of 4 a.m. tomorrow, all 11 nations on the travel red list will be removed.

All red-list visitors to the UK must pay for and self-isolate for ten days at a government-approved hotel.

Those currently in managed quarantine will be allowed to leave early and "follow the rules as if they had arrived from a non-red list country", it was confirmed.

Others paid thousands of pounds to stay in government-approved quarantine hotels, complaining of poor service and inedible food.

Those who test positive will be isolated, said Lancaster's Chancellor Stephen Barclay.

Earlier, Mr Javid said he was "very persuaded" by calls for compensation and hoped to announce it soon.
The idea behind the red list was to act immediately to stop Omicron's spread.

The government no longer considers putting people from a limited list of countries in hotels useful.

It will be welcomed news for those planning to visit the UK from South Africa or Nigeria, or who have delayed their return.

But it will be frustrating for those who were caught up in the red list revival that began about a week ago. Some hotel guests want the government to cover their costs.

Industry wants restrictions lifted. Businesses see testing as a hindrance to recovery. The government appears to be hesitant to go that far.

This will worry travel companies who normally benefit from a late December/early January holiday booking rush.
The UN has called the ban on non-UK residents entering England "travel apartheid".

The UK announcement "comes just in time to allow relatives and friends to gather over the festive season," said South African Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

The travel sector has also warned about the limits.

Airlines UK's Tim Alderslade said clearing the red list made "perfect sense," but the government should also remove other travel restrictions.

Currently, all arrivals must take Covid tests within 48 hours of leaving for the UK, and PCR tests within two days.

In the absence of a red list, he argues that the costly emergency testing and isolation measures imposed on even fully vaccinated travellers are unnecessary.

Minister Grant Shapps said the restrictions would be revisited in January.

"We always keep an eye on travel restrictions and may impose new ones if necessary to protect public health," he tweeted.

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