Wednesday September 22, 2021

Pakistan asks Britain to review decision of placing it on 'red' list

"Our government has done tremendous work in its COVID-19 response," Pakistani envoy in UK says
Web Desk
August 05, 2021
Picture showing an airport in the UK — File.
Picture showing an airport in the UK — File.

LONDON: Following the latest review by Britain related to its travel curbs, Pakistan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Moazzam Ahmed Khan said Thursday he had asked the British government to remove the country's name from its "red" list.

Khan said the coronavirus situation is better in Pakistan, except for Karachi, "and our government has done tremendous work in its COVID-19 response".

"Pakistan's coronavirus response has been acknowledged globally," he said. The Economist, in a report, had ranked Pakistan at number three out of 50 countries that performed well in controlling the COVID-19 spread.

The British government should "appreciate Pakistan's coronavirus response, review its decisions, and consider Pakistan's recommendations," the envoy added.

The passengers on the red list require a costly 10-day hotel quarantine on arrival. Georgia, Mexico, and France's Indian Ocean territories of La Reunion, and Mayotte have also been moved onto the red list.

Moreover, passengers from red list countries need to take a COVID-19 test before they enter the United Kingdom — children aged 10 and under do not need to take it.

The changes — which will come into effect at 0300 GMT on Sunday — put India, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, and France on England's so-called "amber" list of countries, under its traffic light system for arriving travellers.

The government last month eased the rules to allow people from amber countries fully jabbed with a vaccine approved by regulators in the United States and European Union to enter without having to self-isolate.

The amber list mandates virus tests before and after arrival for those jabbed in those territories.

Britain has been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with 130,000 deaths within 28 days of a positive test since the outbreak began.

But the government has gradually eased restrictions, as vaccination numbers increased, cutting numbers of hospital admissions with COVID-19.

Some 88.7% of all adults have now had the first dose, and 73.2% two doses, according to the latest government figures.

— Additional input from AFP