Monday October 18, 2021

After 5-month hiatus, Pakistan to exit UK's red list

United Kingdom removes Pakistan and seven other countries from red list

Web Desk
September 17, 2021
Travelers wearing a face mask or covering stand at check-in desks at Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport in London on December 21, 2020, as a string of countries around the world banned travellers arriving from the UK. — AFP/File
Travelers wearing a face mask or covering stand at check-in desks at Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport in London on December 21, 2020, as a string of countries around the world banned travellers arriving from the UK. — AFP/File

United Kingdom Secretary of State for Transport Rt Hon Grant Shapps said Friday Pakistan will finally be removed from the United Kingdom's red list on September 22 (Wednesday).

Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh, Kenya, Turkey, Egypt, and the Maldives are among the eight countries that are set to be removed from England's red list, according to the British official.

In August, the UK retained Pakistan on its red list, as the country failed to meet the requirements on genomic surveillance capability, transmission risk, and variants of concern.

Providing further updates on travel restrictions, the British official said the government was making coronavirus testing easier for travel from October 4.

"If you’re fully [vaccinated] you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country and from later in Oct, will be able to replace the day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow," he said.

"We’ll also be introducing a new simplified system for international travel from Mon 4 Oct, replacing the current approach with a single red list and simplified measures for the rest of the world — striking the right balance to manage the public health risk as No.1 priority," he added.

Back in April, the UK government had announced adding Pakistan to its red list as the coronavirus cases surged due to the Delta variant — which was first identified in India.