UK Reverses Course, Removes Remaining Countries from ‘Red List’

December 17, 2021

In response to the widespread rise in cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant around the globe, the UK government has removed all 11 remaining countries from its “red list.”

Following our recent LawFlash which sets out current travel rules for both vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers arriving in the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom has since removed all 11 countries from its red list. This means that passengers returning from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe will no longer need to stay in a managed quarantine hotel upon arrival in England.

All vaccinated passengers arriving in the United Kingdom must continue to take a pre-departure test (PCR or lateral flow) two days before they depart for the United Kingdom, as well as a PCR test on or before day two, and self-isolate until receiving a negative result. Unvaccinated passengers must also take a pre-departure test, PCR test on day two and eight, and self-isolate for 10 days.

Test to release remains an option to shorten passengers’ self-isolation periods, whereby travellers can elect to pay for a private COVID-19 test on day five of quarantine, and if the result is negative, quarantine can be ended.


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If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Jennifer Connolly
Yvette Allen

Washington, DC
Shannon A. Donnelly