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17 June, 2024
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Ministers agree to remove all countries from the international travel red list

Government shelves hotel quarantine system

Daily Mail

Senior ministers have agreed to remove all countries from the international travel red list, according to the Daily Mail.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to announce the move this afternoon which should result in the Government's hotel quarantine system being shelved again.

The 11 countries currently on the red list are Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The decision was hammered out at a meeting of the Cabinet's Covid-19 operations committee.

The red list was reintroduced last month following the emergence of the new Omicron coronavirus variant as ministers tried to prevent importing cases into the UK.

Ministers recently admitted that the domestic spread of Omicron meant the system needed to be overhauled.

The variant is now running rampant across the country, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid previously announcing that the justification for the current border system has been 'minimized'.

However, despite the expected change on the red list, tougher travel testing rules introduced in response to Omicron are due to remain in place.

People arriving in the UK from red list countries must currently spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £2,285 for solo travelers.

Removing all 11 countries from the list should therefore result in ministers once again opting to mothball the hotel quarantine system.

However, it is unclear what the change will mean for people who are already in a quarantine hotel having arrived from one of the banned nations.

Other rules introduced due to Omicron fears included requiring fully-vaccinated travelers entering the UK to take a pre-departure test, and to self-isolate until they receive a negative result from a post-arrival PCR test.

According to the Daily Mail, these testing requirements are being kept in place.

Cyprus  |  UK  |  omicron  |  quarantine

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