From 4 a.m. on Wednesday, all 11 countries on the coronavirus travel red list will be removed, according to Sajid Javid. The Covid travel red list will be phased down, according to the health secretary, because it is “less effective in slowing the incursion” of the Omicron variant.
“Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, which represents UK-registered carriers, said the list itself was “not necessary” because Omicron was established in the UK in response to the decision to remove all 11 nations from the UK travel red list.
Passengers from the 11 nations will no longer be required to self-isolate in hotel quarantine, which costs £2,285. Grant Shapps, the Secretary of Transportation, resorted to social media to clarify the rules.”All current testing measures remain in place,” he tweeted, “and will be reviewed in the first week of January.
“Removing these countries from the red list makes complete sense, but it’s not nearly enough,” he said. If the red list isn’t essential now that Omicron has established itself in the United States, neither are the expensive emergency testing and isolation procedures placed on even fully vaccinated travellers, which puts us at odds with the rest of Europe once again. Testing, not the very modest red list, is the main disincentive to travel.
He said: “Removing these countries from the red list makes complete sense but doesn’t go nearly far enough. If the red list isn’t necessary given that Omicron is established here at home, then neither are the costly emergency testing and isolation measures imposed on even fully vaccinated travellers, which again put us completely at odds with the rest of Europe. It is testing that is the deterrent to travel, not the relatively limited red list.”
“This is make or break for UK aviation and if Government is unable to row back from these restrictions over the New Year, it will need to step in with further economic support for a sector that again has been singled out.”