UK removes all 11 countries from red list
For once the government appears to be reacting quickly to the changing Covid picture and have removed all 11 countries from the red list, meaning no hotel quarantine will be required for those arriving into the UK from 4am 15 December. Currently, arrivals from those countries have to pay for 10 days hotel quarantine.
The health minister, Sajid Javid, told the Commons “We won’t keep measures in place for a moment longer than we need to. For example, 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.”
The red list countries being removed are:
- South Africa
However, getting back to the usual state of affairs, there will now be no review of travel restrictions until the New Year, despite the government indicating they would do so before Christmas! Grant Shapps said in a Tweet,
✈️🧪 All current TESTING measures remain in place & will be reviewed in the first week of January.
Check the rules here👇 https://t.co/lLZa0DpTVv (2/3)
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) December 14, 2021
So the health minister has effectively said that Omincron is spreading rapidly with it likely to be the dominant strain within a couple of weeks but “We won’t keep measures in place for a moment longer than we need to” and then refusing to review testing rules for at least two weeks.
I agree about needing some form of testing entering the UK but the current PCR test and isolation is difficult for many given that most testing companies are struggling to keep up with demand. The former rules made a lot more sense once Omnicron is the dominant strain.