The UK Government has removed all 11 countries from the travel red list.
Arrivals from Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and Lesotho will no longer be subject to hotel quarantine restrictions from 4am on Wednesday (December 15).
They will now come into line with arrivals from other countries, requiring all fully jabbed passengers to have negative pre-departure tests and to take a PCR swab on or before day two of their entry to the UK. They will have to self-isolate at home until they test negative.
All unvaccinated travellers will still be required to take a pre-departure test and then self isolate for 10 days at home, as well as taking day two and day eight PCR tests.
While no countries will be subject to hotel quarantine from tomorrow, ministers will not abandon the concept of a red list due to concerns it could be needed in the face of any future variants.
Previously, arrivals from 11 African countries had to stay in a quarantine hotel for 10 days, at a cost of up to £2,285, including two Covid tests. The rate for one additional adult, or a child aged 12 or over, is £1,430; while children aged between 5–11 are £325 each. Those in financial hardship have been able to avoid the large fee.
Since February 15, passengers who have tried to cover up their arrival from a red list country have also faced jail sentences of up to 10 years, whilst anyone who has tried to avoid mandatory hotel quarantine has faced fines of up to £10,000. Britain is one of the few countries in the world with such a restrictive policy in place – Grant Shapps previously described the scheme as “as the UK’s first line of defence”.
A fine continues to enforce the testing system for other arrivals from non-red list countries. Travellers arriving from any country could be fined £500 if they do not have a valid test result.