Red list ‘to be ABOLISHED and hotel quarantine shelved indefinitely as restrictions on final seven countries are removed by ministers’

  • UK ministers will meet Thursday in order to discuss the removal of the final seven countries 
  • These are Colombia, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru, Venezuela
  • The UK would be effectively free from the practice of hotel quarantine.
  • However, it is likely to be retained in case another variant is discovered 

According to reports, Britain is considering removing restrictions like the travel’redlist’ of seven countries or hotel quarantine to counter a declining COVID-19 threat.

UK ministers will meet on Thursday to consider removing the final seven countries, including Colombia and Venezuela, from the red list, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The Department of Health appears to be backing the potential move. It would effectively end the need of hotel quarantine as the measure applies only to travellers arriving in the UK from countries on the red-list.

Britain plans to remove restrictions such as a travel 'red list' of seven countries and hotel quarantine due to a declining COVID-19 threat from abroad. Pictured: Passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport, London, after a flight

Britain plans to lift restrictions such as the travel’red’ list of seven countries, and the hotel quarantine due to a declining COVID-19 risk from abroad. Pictured: Passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport, London, after a flight

As of Wednesday, there were only seven countries 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 at a cost of £2,285 per person.

The program was implemented at the height of Covid pandemic. Around 200,000 people fled red-list countries to return to their homelands.

It is believed that the change will take effect Monday.

The hotel quarantine system was established on February 15th and is expected to be maintained in the event that another variant is discovered. 

Cop26, a summit on climate change in Glasgow attended by delegates from seven countries on the red list, may have put pressure upon ministers to remove the list. 

Whitehall sources stated that the Department of Health would remove all remaining countries from red list, given the public health advice.

Pictured: A worker sanitises a barrier at the International arrivals area of Terminal 5 in London's Heathrow Airport, Britain, August 2, 2021. UK ministers will meet on Thursday to consider removing the final seven countries, including Colombia and Venezuela, from the red list, The Telegraph reported. The move would effectively end hotel quarantine in the UK

Pictured: An employee cleans a barrier in the International arrivals area at Terminal 5 in London’s Heathrow Airport. It was taken August 2, 2021. According to The Telegraph, ministers from the UK will meet Thursday to discuss the possibility of removing Venezuela and Colombia from the red list. The UK would be able to end its hotel quarantine.

“But the hotel precautionary policy will continue to be in effect as a safety net for any changes in the situation. If there is a concern in the future, countries can continue. 

The newspaper reported that ministers are looking at a separate plan to eliminate hotel quarantine altogether – something even pioneer Australia is considering scrapping in favor of vaccination as a defense against Covid.

Instead of the hotel quarantine system, travellers would be required to self-isolate at their home for a period of 10 days regardless if they have been vaccinated. 

The Telegraph reported that this possible change may not be made today and may not be implemented until next year.  

Earlier this week, the Government removed the requirement for PCR testing for all travellers arriving in the UK. 

This potential move comes after a significant cut to the UK’s travel red list. In fact, 47 countries were removed from it earlier this month.

After NHS data showed that Britons who travel to red-list countries are less likely to catch Covid than those who start in the UK, the NHS decided to remove the countries.

The proportion of positive hotel quarantine test results for those who had traveled from red list countries in the middle of the month was 0.77 percent, less than one in 120 people.

Comparatively, the UK had 1.14 percent of people who tested positive for HIV.