29 NOVEMBER 2021
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The UK Government has revised its 'red list' which now covers ten southern African countries. And everyone travelling to England from anywhere must complete a passenger locator form and take a PCR test within two days of arrival and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Lateral flow tests will not be accepted.
From today onwards travellers from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe will be required to book and pay for a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for ten days.
The Government says it is taking decisive precautionary action against a new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 named Omicron under investigation (VuI) by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The arrival rule for England does not take effect until 4 am Tuesday morning which means today's incoming travellers will not be affected.
With non-stop flights cancelled at very short notice for last weekend only travellers trying to beat the new regulations inevitably found alternative routings, usually via the major Gulf State hubs, which quicky, in the case of Qatar, stopped this loophole.
Lo Bue-Said, Chief Executive at Advantage Travel Partnership, typical with comment: “Black Friday has taken on a whole new meaning today in the travel industry.
“Yet again, an entire industry is informed of drastic changes to travel restrictions by a late-night tweet from government, leaving travel agents scrambling to repatriate their customers in these southern African countries and cancel and rebook those who had planned to travel over the festive period.”
She also warned that the wider “knock-on” impact on consumer confidence to book other destinations was also “deeply concerning for the travel industry”.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Jim Smith, Wansteas
Is it not time as far as border controls are involved we take back this so-called devolved government from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. We all travel on the same passport. MG
Phil Copper, Newcastle
Itís not just the PCR tests the Scots will have to take, they will need to complete the paperwork too. MG
joe Shifter, Glasgow
Does this mean that folks travelling into England from Scotland (or Northern Ireland and Wales for that matter) need to self-isolate and take the expensive PCR test. Will any come?