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RED LIST AND HOTEL QUARANTINE TO BE REVIEWED EVERY THREE WEEKS

Reference:TTG | Updated:29 Oct. 2021

Transport secretary Grant Shapps on Thursday (28 October) confirmed the seven remaining countries on the list – Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela – would be removed from 4am on Monday (1 November).

However, the red list and hotel quarantine will not be scrapped altogether, with the system set to be reserved to guard against the import of new variants of Covid-19, although the number of rooms reserved for hotel quarantine has been cut to save taxpayers’ money.

"The red list and quarantine hotel policy remains in place and will continue to act as a crucial line of defence against the importation of variants of concern," said the Department for Transport (DfT). "We will review the red list every three weeks and will impose restrictions should there be a need to do so to protect public health."

The DfT said the decision to reduce the red list to zero was a result of the Delta variant of Covid-19, which has been dominant in the UK for some time, becoming the dominant strain worldwide. "This means the risk of known variants entering the UK has reduced and the government can confidently remove these seven destinations from the red list," said the DfT.

"The data for all countries and territories will be kept under review, including the emergence of new variants, and the government will not hesitate to take action where the epidemiological picture changes," the department added.

From Monday, the government will recognise proof of vaccination from a further 30 countries and territories, including Argentina, Tanzania and Cambodia, bringing the total number covered by the UK’s inbound vaccination policy to more than 135.

’PROGRESS’

"This is another step in the right direction for international travel with more good news today for passengers, businesses and the travel sector," said Shapps. "We’re continuing to make great progress as we recover from the pandemic, and today [Thursday] is another example of how far we have come.

"However, we must not be complacent and remain ready to spring into action and defend our hard-won gains if needed.”

Health secretary Sajid Javid, meanwhile, confirmed the number of hotel quarantine rooms held in reserve by the government would be reduced to reflect lower demand and to "deliver better value for the taxpayer".

"We are keeping a small number of quarantine rooms on standby and will not hesitate to take swift action by adding countries to the red list if the risk increases again," said Javid. The DfT did not specify how many rooms would be held in reserve.

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