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Saturday December 04, 2021

UK retains Pakistan on travel Red List

August 27, 2021
UK retains Pakistan on travel Red List

LONDON: Pakistan continues to remain in the travel BSB Red List, as the UK government announced its latest travel review on Thursday.

It remains in the list for failing to meet the requirements on genomic surveillance capability, transmission risk, and variants of concern. The News had reported exclusively three days ago that the UK govt is cautious and provided no assurance to Pakistan when pressed through the diplomatic means, including through a group of British Pakistani MPs.

Pakistan was hopeful it will be moved to the amber list in the latest review, with government officials – including PM Imran Khan – urging the UK government to move the country to the amber travel list. But it seems the diplomatic offensive failed and the misery of thousands, who are separated from family, will continue.

According to the latest update, seven countries, namely, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Switzerland, and the Azores will move into the green list starting 4am on Monday, August 30. Thailand and Montenegro, on the other hand, will be added to the red list at the same time, "reflecting the increased case rates in these countries and the higher risk that travel from these countries poses to UK public health", said the notice.

"The high rates combined with lower levels of published genomic surveillance in Thailand and Montenegro than other countries mean that an outbreak of a new variant or existing variants of concern (VOC) or variants under investigation (VUI) cannot be easily identified before it is imported and seeded across the UK," it added.