England will remove all 11 countries from its red travel list amid the spread of the Omicron variant within the United Kingdom, UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the British Parliament on Tuesday.
Javid said the government “isn't prepared to keep measures in place a moment longer than we need to.”
“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,” he said.
This means that Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe will be removed from the red list starting at 4 a.m. local time Wednesday morning.
People arriving into England from these countries will no longer need to complete a mandatory hotel quarantine period.
Javid told members of Parliament that he has asked for a review into whether people currently undergoing hotel quarantine stays may be released.