Travelers must also take COVID tests within 48 hours of setting off for the UK and PCR tests within 2 days of their arrival. People that are currently in a UK quarantine hotel will also be allowed to leave early, as long as they do not test positive for COVID-19. The current testing rules will be reviewed in the first week of January 2022 and could change depending on the development of the COVID response at that time.
The red list countries are Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Said African Tourism Board Chairman Cuthbert Ncube in a recent interview: “The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had taught a lesson that Africa should be self-dependent in tourism. Lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed in Europe, the United States, Asia, and other potential tourist markets had greatly affected African tourism
“Africa receives about 62 million tourists out of over a billion global tourists recorded each year. Europe receives nearly 600 million global tourists.”
The lifting of the red list restricted countries is being seen by some as a sign that the government accepts the Omicron coronavirus variant can no longer be contained. Earlier today, the Omicron variant overtook Delta as the dominant variant in London, accounting for over 50 percent of cases.
The UK Government conducted a review of the temporary and precautionary international travel measures introduced to slow the spread of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, and find the travel red list is less effective in slowing the variant from abroad. Temporary measures that were set in place are no longer valid as Omicron cases rise in the UK as well as other countries around the world.