UK removes travel red list but requires Covid test

This content was published on Dec 14, 2021 – 15:04

London, December 14 (EFE). – The UK government announced this Tuesday that it will remove all countries from its red list of travel destinations from the next morning, claiming they have lost effectiveness to slow its expansion. Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The Minister of Health, Sajid Javid, indicated in Parliament that the obligation to get tested for coronavirus before and after travel to the UK would remain.

London has added 11 African countries to its red list in recent weeks, including South Africa, Nigeria and Mozambique. The measure banned entry to travelers without British citizenship or residency, and forced them to remain in a hotel quarantine for ten days.

The minister said the transmission of the new type of society in the UK and the rest of the world was making the Red List “less effective in slowing the incursion of omicron from abroad”.

However, travelers will continue to have a covid-19 test within 48 hours before they leave for England, as well as another PCR test two days after arrival.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA, in English) estimates that on Monday about 200,000 people were infected with the omicron variant in the UK, although the official number of confirmed cases through testing was 54,661 yesterday.

Javid argued to the House of Commons that “scientists have never seen a different type of COVID-19 capable of spreading so quickly”.

The minister argued that even if the Omicron produced milder symptoms than other breeds, its uncontrolled expansion threatened to flood the UK’s public health system.

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To avoid this scenario, he advocated before parliamentarians the reintroduction of masks in a large part of indoor public spaces, as well as the use of the Covid “passport” at discos and mass events.

Parliament is expected to ratify these measures this afternoon with the support of the conservative majority and the opposition Labor Party, although dozens of “Conservative Party” deputies have presented that they will revolt against their government and vote against the plan. EFE

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