Mr Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom government has agreed to remove Nigeria from the red list which the government hastily created in its panicky response to the outbreak of Omicron.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a brief address earlier today said government was considering another approach to the pestilence.
At a meeting of the government Cabinet’s Covid-19 operations (COVID-O) committee, it was agreed the entire red list be scrapped and the public announcement as to the terms and conditions to be imposed on international travellers in and out of UK will be spelt out by 4am tomorrow.
The Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, while addressing Members of Parliament earlier today said, “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 11 African countries which currently are exclusive on the red list are: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Health Secretary told the House of Commons that by the present situation the red list is ‘now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad’ and hotel quarantine will therefore be shelved.
The red list was reintroduced last month following the emergence of Omicron as ministers tried to prevent importing cases into the UK.
Despite the change on the red list, tougher travel testing rules introduced in response to the variant will remain in place.
Sajid Javid added that government will maintain her temporary testing measures for international travel
Other rules introduced due to Omicron fears but will still be enforced despite the abolition of the red list included the requirement for fully-vaccinated travellers 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.