UK Red List Expanded: UK Travel Changes Due to Omicron

UK Red List Expanded: UK Travel Changes Due to Omicron

England has added 10 southern African countries to their red list and will reintroduce PCR tests and self-isolate until they have got a negative result.

The return of the red list comes after the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and Botswana.

Travellers arriving from South Africa and nine other southern African nations will now have to quarantine on arrival in the UK. A further 4 countries were added to the list from the last announcement.

From Sunday 28 November arrivals from red list countries will have to go straight into quarantine in government-mandated hotels. 

The countries added to the red list are:

  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Only British, Irish nationals and individuals who have residence rights in the UK can enter England from red-listed countries.

PCR Tests and Quarantine

Day 2 PCR tests for everyone entering the UK will be re-introduced and all arrivals will need to self-isolate until they receive a negative test result and all contacts of new variant cases will have to self-isolate, even if fully jabbed.

But Boris Johnson said Christmas would be “considerably better” than in 2020.

The measures were “temporary and precautionary”, he added.

The UK Prime Minister said the new measures would be reviewed in three weeks, by which time they should have better information about the “continuing effectiveness” of vaccines.

However, the PCR test and quarantine requirement will not apply to the Common Travel Area (CTA) which covers travel between Britain, the island of Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney confirmed no COVID-19 test or quarantine is required if travelling within the CTA and not outside of the CTA in the previous 10 days.

Mask Requirements in England

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that face-covering will become mandatory again in shops and on public transport across England.

On face coverings, what we’re looking at is retail and transport, and just getting back to a position where you have to wear them in retail settings or on our public transport.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

The Prime Minister also said that plans for the booster jab for vaccines, for those who are double vaccinated, will be stepped up.

We don’t yet exactly know how effective our vaccines will be against Omicron but we have good reasons for believing they will provide at least some measure of protection.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

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