The African countries on the red list

Ten countries in southern African have been placed on the travel red list because of concern about a new Covid variant.

The government has also announced anyone traveling to England must take a PCR test by the end of the second day after their arrival.

Which countries are now on the red list?
The changes mark the return of the travel red list, which had been cleared of all countries in October.

The countries placed on it – at 04:00 GMT on Sunday – are South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia.

People arriving from them will not be able to enter unless they are UK or Irish nationals, or UK residents.

They will then have to pay for and self-isolate in a pre-booked government-approved hotel for 10 days.

Rates are:

10 days (11-nights) for one adult – £ 2,285
Additional adult (or child over 11) – £ 1,430
Children aged five to 11 – £ 325
What is the new Covid variant?
There are concerns that a new variant, known as Omicron – which was identified in southern Africa – may not respond as well to vaccines.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it could be the most infectious variant so far.

New heavily mutated Covid variant raises concern
What are the rules in popular destinations?

What are the UK’s travel rules for other countries?
Before traveling to the UK

Fully vaccinated passengers traveling to the UK from many other countries no longer have to take a Covid test before setting off.

This applies to people vaccinated in the UK, the EU, the US and dozens of other recognized countries – including Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan and Turkey. You must be able to prove you are fully vaccinated.

The changes also apply to under-18s resident in one of these countries, whether or not they are vaccinated.

Upon arrival

People traveling into the UK will have to take a PCR test by the end of the second day after their arrival and self-isolate until they get a negative test.

And everyone who comes into contact with a positive case of Omicron will have to self-isolate – even if they’ve had both vaccine doses.

All travelers coming to the UK must also fill in a passenger locator form – even if they are just passing through – which they need to fill in 48 hours or less before their journey.

What if I’m unvaccinated?
If you aren’t fully vaccinated – and you’re over 18 – you must self-isolate at home for 10 days after arrival in the UK.

You also need to:

take a PCR or lateral flow / antigen test (not a free NHS test) in the three days before you travel to the UK
take a test on or before day two and on or after day eight after your return.
Test to Release will remain an option for unvaccinated passengers to England who want to shorten their quarantine.