UK removes all 11 red-listed countries

According to the government, all 11 countries will be removed by the UK from its travel red list starting Wednesday at 4am.

UK removes all 11 red-listed countries

The list includes Angola and Botswana as well as Eswatini and Lesotho.

As a precautionary measure, the red list was reinstated in November after the Omicron variant emerged.

Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, said that it had been so widespread that the rules were no longer relevant.

He stated that Omicron is spreading rapidly from the UK, and there has been a lot of community transmission. The travel red list was no longer effective in stopping Omicron's incursion from abroad.

"While we will continue to test international travel, we will remove all 11 countries from our travel red list starting at 4am tomorrow morning."

All UK visitors from countries on the red list must pay and self-isolate for 10 days in a prebooked, government approved hotel.

What are the requirements for traveling abroad?

Travellers have paid thousands of pounds for accommodation in quarantine hotels approved by the government. There have been complaints about chaotic organization and unpalatable food.

Mr Javid stated that he needed urgent advice about whether people currently in managed quarantine could leave their homes early.

He said that he was also persuaded by the calls to reimburse people, and hoped to make an official announcement soon.

It has now spread to the community. The government doesn't believe that putting people from limited countries in hotels is a good idea.

People who are planning to travel to the UK from Nigeria and South Africa, or have delayed their return, will find this news very welcome.

It will be disappointing for those who were involved in the revival and expansion of the red list. This was only a fortnight ago. Some hotel guests would prefer to have the government cover their expenses.

Travel industry demands that all restrictions be removed. Businesses view testing as a deterrent to their recovery. The government seems not ready to go that far yet.


This move comes after anger from African countries. The UN described the ban on non-UK residents coming to England as "travel apartheid".

Travel industry warned that restrictions could hurt business.

Head of the trade group Airlines UK, Tim Alderslade, stated that emptying the red-list made "complete sense", but that the government should also remove any travel restrictions.

All arrivals must now take Covid tests within 48hrs of departing for the UK, and PCR tests within 2 days.

He stated, "If the red-list isn't needed, given Omicron is here at home," and added that neither is the expensive emergency testing or isolation measures imposed upon fully vaccinated travellers. This again puts us at odds with Europe."

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, stated that these testing procedures would be reviewed within the first week in January.

"As always we keep all of our travel measures under review" he tweeted.

She was visiting her father in South Africa for his 90th Birthday when South Africa was added to the UK's red-list.

It took several days to arrange a return flight on the same day that a quarantine room was available. While they waited, they had to stay longer at their AirBnB. They also had to re-book their car rental while they waited.

She and David are now at a Gatwick hotel.

Alison claims that the cost of their extended stay and their quarantine facility in South Africa was at least PS5,500.

"It was just one expense after the other. All of it is on credit cards. This was meant to be a low-cost trip.

She described the quarantine experience as a joke. After landing, we were escorted into coaches. We were lucky to land at Gatwick. Some of our passengers were heading to Manchester.

Alison claims her room is modern and clean, but she feels unsafe in the hotel. She says she has seen guards wearing masks while sneezing.

A fire alarm forced the evacuation of the hotel.

"We are aware of someone who has been positive at the hotel. They came back to retest us and said that we had been exposed during the fire alarm to Covid.

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