UK to Remove All Countries From COVID-19 Travel Red List on Wednesday
17:31 GMT 14.12.2021 (Updated: 21:39 GMT 18.10.2022)
© AP Photo / Matt Dunhamn this file photo dated Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, people in the arrivals area at Heathrow Airport in London, during England's coronavirus lockdown
© AP Photo / Matt Dunham
LONDON (Sputnik) - All countries from where travel is forbidden under the UK's coronavirus restrictions will be wiped off the "red list" on Wednesday, the British secretary for transport announced.
Testing will remain in place until at least the next review in the first week of January. The transport minister added that the government could bring the curbs back any time.
"As always, we keep all our travel measures under review and we may impose new restrictions should there be a need to do so to protect public health", he said.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in parliament that the red list was less effective in slowing down the "incursion" of the Omicron variant from abroad now that it was spreading rapidly across the country.
Omicron was first detected in South Africa in late November. The World Health Organisation designated it a "variant of concern" due to an exceptionally high number of mutations. Despite the new wave of travel bans on Africa, the new variant has since been detected in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.