Red list ‘will be abolished and hotel quarantine indefinitely suspended as ministers lift restrictions on last seven countries’
- British ministers meet on Thursday to consider removing the last seven countries
- These are Colombia, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru, Venezuela
- The move would effectively end the practice of hotel quarantine in the UK
- However, it is likely that it will be preserved in case another variant is discovered
Britain plans to lift restrictions such as the ‘red list’ on travel from seven countries and hotel quarantine due to a dwindling COVID-19 threat from abroad, according to reports.
British ministers will meet on Thursday to consider removing the last seven countries, including Colombia and Venezuela, from the red list, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The potential move – reportedly backed by the Department of Health – would effectively end the need for hotel quarantine due to the measure only applying to travelers coming to the UK from red-listed counties.
Britain plans to lift restrictions such as a ‘red list’ for travel from seven countries and hotel quarantine due to a dwindling COVID-19 threat from abroad. Pictured: Passengers arrive after a flight at Heathrow Airport, London
On Wednesday, only seven countries were left on the list: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
Those coming from these countries are currently required to stay in a hotel for 11 nights for £2,285 per person.
Since the program was implemented at the height of the Covid pandemic early this year, about 200,000 people are returning from red list countries.
It is clear that the change will take effect on Monday.
The hotel quarantine scheme was introduced on February 15 and will likely be enforced in case another variant is found.
It is believed that the Cop26 summit on climate change in Glasgow – in which delegates from the seven red list countries participate – may have been able to pressure ministers to remove the list.
A Whitehall source said: ‘The Department of Health plans to remove all remaining countries from the red list, given the public health advice.
Pictured: An employee cleans a barrier in the International Arrivals Hall of Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London, UK, Aug. 2, 2021. British ministers will meet on Thursday to consider the last seven countries, including Colombia and Venezuela, of the red list, The Telegraph reported. The move would effectively end the UK’s hotel quarantine
“But the hotel quarantine policy will remain in place as a safety net should the situation change. Countries can continue if there is concern at some point in the future.’
The paper also reported that ministers are considering a separate plan to end hotel quarantine altogether – which even pioneer Australia is scrapping in favor of vaccination as a form of defense against Covid.
The hotel’s quarantine arrangement would instead be replaced with a requirement for travelers to self-isolate at home for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.
However, this potential change may not be announced today, The Telegraph reported, and may not be implemented until next year.
Earlier this week, the government also dropped the requirement of PCR testing for travelers arriving in the UK.
The potential move follows a major cut in the UK’s red travel list, when 47 countries were taken off the list earlier this month.
The decision to remove the countries came after NHS data showed Britons traveling to red-listed countries have a lower risk of contracting Covid than if they started in the UK.
By mid-month, the proportion of positive test results from people in hotel quarantine who had traveled from red-listed countries had fallen to 0.77 percent, or less than one in 120 people.
By comparison, the percentage of people who tested positive in the UK was 1.14 per cent.