The discovery of the Omicron variant by South African scientists resulted in blanket travel bans against South Africa and neighbouring African countries.
The United Kingdom was one of the first to do so, and a total of 11 African countries made it to their red list between 29 November and 4 December, according to The Independent.
This left many travellers in a state of panic, as they were either required to pay exorbitant amounts to quarantine in UK hotels, or they were not allowed to disembark their planes. After the travel bans, citizens from the red-listed countries were repatriated, with numerous national carriers helping these efforts.
UK health secretary Sajid Javid announced that the UK will be scrapping their red list starting 15 December 2021.
‘Now that there is community transmission, the travel red list is less effective,’ stated Javid.
Whilst the red list will be scrapped, Javid asserted that their newly announced testing requirements will remain in place to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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