Live travel news: red list removed but tests remain in effect


The British government has confirmed that it is removing the red list for international travel from 4 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday 15 December.

Announced today by Health Secretary Sajid Javid in the House of Commons, the move comes in response to the rapid global spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Several ministers had suggested in previous days that the list could be removed now that the UK has seen widespread cases unrelated to recent travel.

“Now that there is community transmission, less red travel is less efficient,” Mr. Javid said.

However, the recently announced testing requirements will remain in place.

A total of 11 African countries were put on the UK’s once-empty Red List between November 29 and December 4, including South Africa and Nigeria, with returning travelers given short notice that they would have to pay thousands of dollars to quarantine hotels in the UK.

In other news, Amazon is one of the latest retailers to join the PCR testing effort, with its own government-approved £ 35 PCR kit available for day two and day eight testing.

Follow all of the latest travel updates below:

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Quarantine of hotels is a violation of human rights, we will say in court

Quarantined couple Emily Mennie and Owen Hancock demanded that the cost of hotel quarantine for those caught up in politics in recent weeks be immediately reimbursed by the government, and called for the urgent release of all people quarantined at the hotel.

Owen, from Tooting, south London, said: ‘It is clear that the government has listened to the 60,000 people who signed our petition and the hundreds of travelers who are furious at the very high cost of hotel quarantine. .

“The fact that the government decided less than two weeks later that testing fully vaccinated travelers is a better solution shows that the hasty reintroduction of hotel quarantine was unfair. We must all be released today and allowed to be in isolation at home now. “

Emily added: “What it shows is that hundreds of travelers like us have been treated unfairly, landed with huge credit card bills and been jailed for no good reason. Boris Johnson and his government now owe it to themselves. urgently reimburse all travelers who have had to pay, in our case almost £ 4,000. ”

PGMBM managing partner Tom Goodhead, whose company sued the government last week, said: disproportionate.

“The fact that the government changed tactics so quickly shows that the hasty reintroduction of the Red List was a mistake. But this mistake resulted in the unfair treatment of hundreds of people, forced to pay huge fees for their own imprisonment even though they followed the rules. And all this a few weeks before Christmas.

“It is for this reason that PGMBM will go to the Court of Appeal to seek justice for those who have been affected in recent weeks as well as those who had to go through this unjustifiable process earlier in the year.”

Helene coffeyDecember 14, 2021 4:13 PM

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Which countries are currently on the red list?

Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced this afternoon that the red list will be erased again from tomorrow, December 15.

A total of 11 countries were added between November 29 and December 4, in response to the omicron variant, but ministers today announced that closing borders to some countries has become unnecessary through community transmission in the UK. United.

But how will this affect travel?

For all the background to the UK’s highest risk list, including which 11 countries need to be cleared and when, read our full rundown of the red list:

Lucy thackrayDecember 14, 2021 3:35 PM

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The test rules will be reviewed the first week of January

While the red list is due to be removed tomorrow, the current testing rules for travel will be reviewed during the first week of January, the transport secretary confirmed.

Grant Shapps tweeted: “As of 4 a.m. on Wednesday December 15, ALL 11 countries will be taken off the red list for travel to England.

“All current TEST measures remain in place and will be reviewed during the first week of January.”

Since the beginning of December, travelers returning to the UK must undergo a Covid test before travel on the day of departure or within the two days before, as well as travelers who have been vaccinated and who must use PCR tests for their ‘second day’ post-arrival. test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

Unvaccinated travelers should still self-isolate at home for 10 days and should use PCR tests for their day two and day eight tests.

Lucy thackrayDecember 14, 2021 3:02 PM

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Indignation of those who are in quarantine at the hotel while the red list is removed

Many of those who have traveled to Red List countries such as South Africa in the two weeks they were back on the List are now halfway through their period of hotel isolation in 10 days.

It has just been announced that the UK government will empty the Red List again from 4am tomorrow, just 16 days after the first countries were added to it again.

Louise Hemus Fox, currently in quarantine at the hotel at the Gatwick Sofitel, said The independent: “At a minimum, we should be allowed to go out upon receipt of a negative test on the eighth day. No need to sit here until midnight on day 10.

“The whole thing is totally unnecessary. It has absolutely nothing to do with infection control, it’s just a bureaucratic platitude. “

The PGMBM team cited cases such as Emily Mennie and Owen Hancock, who traveled to South Africa last month and were unable to return until the list restrictions were implemented. Red.

Lucy thackrayDecember 14, 2021 2:52 PM

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The red list will be removed from Wednesday

The British government has confirmed that it is removing the red list of international travel, as of 4 a.m. on Wednesday.

Announced by Health Secretary Sajid Javid in the House of Commons today, the move comes in response to the rapid global spread of the omicron coronavirus variant, which ministers say has rendered the most travel restrictions unnecessary. strict.

The 11 African countries currently designated “high risk” by the Ministry of Transport will be removed from the red list from 4 am tomorrow.

The testing requirements, however, will remain in place.

Lucy thackrayDecember 14, 2021 2:28 PM

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Redlist could be removed tomorrow, Whitehall reporter says

The UK government is set to empty the red list again, claiming the spread of omicron has effectively rendered the list “useless”, according to unconfirmed reports from the UK government. Financial Time‘Whitehall editor-in-chief Sebastian Payne.

Payne tweeted: “NEW: UK clears red list.

“Whitehall officials confirm that all 11 countries (including South Africa) will be removed as of 4 am tomorrow.

“The Covid-O meeting is going on imminently. Ministers accept the spread of omicron, which means the restrictions are ‘unnecessary’.”

The UK government has not confirmed any changes to travel rules or the Red List at this point, with the next official review and update due on December 20.

Lucy thackrayDecember 14, 2021 1:44 PM

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New BA branch to take over easyJet at Gatwick

British Airways has unveiled the first destinations of its new low-cost branch of Gatwick. Flights begin from Sussex Airport on March 29, 2022.

The first destinations are Amsterdam, Larnaca and Paphos in Cyprus, the Spanish airports of Seville and Tenerife and Verona in Italy.

Initially, it will operate with just three Airbus A320s, but by the end of May the fleet will expand to around 35 European destinations.

But the airline stresses that the product will remain the same: “Customers will receive the same high level of service they expect from British Airways and enjoy the benefits of traveling with the UK’s national carrier, including a generous baggage allowance. , free water and snacks, free seat selection and frequent flyer benefits that include lounge access, ”reads a statement from BA.

Simon calderDecember 14, 2021 1:36 PM

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Amazon launches new £ 35 PCR travel test

Online retail giant Amazon has launched a new PCR travel test, along with a “general test kit” for home use.

At £ 34.99, the all-purpose retailer’s test kit is one of the cheapest on the market, with similar budget prices available from Randox or Tui – but only with a ‘click and collect’ discount to pick up the first, and a customer discount from the latter.

RT-PCR kits are processed by Amazon’s in-house lab, which has been used for months to test frontline workers and Amazon employees.

Lucy thackrayDecember 14, 2021 12:28

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New rail link means you can travel from Portugal to Singapore by train

A new rail link in Laos means you can now travel from Lagos in Portugal to Singapore by train alone.

Analysis by rail blogger Mark Smith, alias The man in seat 61, and Reddit users calculated that the 11,654-mile trip could be completed in 21 days – assuming there are no layovers at each destination.

Stops and connections along the way include Paris, Moscow, Beijing, and Bangkok, making this a great Europe-Asia tour.

The missing link was a new section of railway in Laos, which was completed on December 2 and connects the Laotian city of Boten with the capital, Vientiane.

From there, you can take a high speed train in China to connect to the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Lucy thackrayDecember 14, 2021 11:40 AM

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Indonesia earthquake triggers tsunami warning

A 7.3 magnitude underwater earthquake struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Flores, prompting the country’s monitoring agency to issue a tsunami alert (which was later canceled).

The victims of the underwater earthquake are not immediately clear. However, authorities said several buildings and public property suffered damage as photos showed roads opened up by the quake.

Areas facing an immediate tsunami threat include the Moluccas, eastern Nusa Tenggara, western Nusa Tenggara, and southeast and southern Sulawesi.

Magnitude 5.6 aftershocks were felt in Larantuka, authorities said. The earthquake was also strongly felt in Makassar in South Sulawesi, according to reports.

Lucy thackrayDecember 14, 2021 11:08 AM


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