- Eswatini and 10 other African countries have been removed from the red list
Mbabane: Eswatini and 10 other African countries have been removed from the red list of travel restrictions that were imposed upon it by the United Kingdom. Following the initial detection of the omicron variant in southern Africa, many countries placed travel bans or quarantine measures for travelers from the region.
The red list had required travelers from the 11 African countries of Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to pay for and quarantine in government-approved hotels for 10 days after entering the U.K.
Sajid David, the British Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said the red list is “now less effective” as the government has detected community transmission of omicron and it has become globally widespread.
The move follows anger from African countries, with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, chief of the World Health Organization, stating that bans would be ineffective, and deemed it “concerning” that these countries were being penalized for detecting the new variant first. Last week, Nigeria’s high commissioner to the U.K. Sarafa Tunji called the country’s red list, “travel apartheid.”
However, in the United States, a more stringent ban on travel from some African countries remains in place. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, said officials are reviewing the ban and aim to lift it “within a reasonable amount of time.”