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Additional countries to be added to the travel ban list

Additional countries to be added to the travel ban list

Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar have been added to England’s red list to protect the country against new variants of COVID-19, at a critical time for the vaccine programme.  

With over 24 million vaccinations delivered in the UK so far, the move will help to reduce the risk of new variants - such as those first identified in South Africa and Brazil - entering England.  

From 4am on Friday 19th March, visitors who have departed from or transited through these countries in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England. Only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights (including long-term visa holders), will be allowed to enter and must stay in a Government-approved facility for 10 days.  During their stay, they will be required to take a coronavirus test on day 2 and day 8. 

A ban on commercial and private planes travelling from Oman, Ethiopia and Qatar will also come into force on Friday to reduce the risk of importing variants of concern. This excludes cargo and freight without passengers.  

The Joint Biosecurity Centre produces risk assessments of the spread of variants of concern internationally. These risk assessments cover a range of factors for each country including assessment of surveillance and sequencing capability, available surveillance and genome sequencing data, evidence of in-country community transmission of COVID-19 variants, evidence of exportation of new variants to the UK or other countries and travel connectivity with the UK. The Government has made it consistently clear it will take decisive action if necessary to contain the virus and has taken the decision to add these destinations to the red list. 

  Further information can be found: https://dft-newsroom.prgloo.com/news/more-countries-added-to-red-list-to-protect-uk-vaccination-programme-against-variants-of-concern


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