From 4am on Sunday, UK and Irish residents returning to England must isolate in an approved facility for 10 days
Britain is to add four more countries to its red list, health officials have announced, after two cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant were detected in the UK.
After fresh advice from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola will join the travel red list from 4am on Sunday.
Travellers who have returned from these four countries in the last 10 days must isolate and get a PCR test, officials said.
The Guardian understands the UKHSA is now following up on recent arrivals from these countries. Ministers have not ruled out adding further countries to the red list.
Sajid Javid, the health secretary, said: “We will do all we can to protect the UK public against this emerging threat and that is why we are surging testing capacity to the impacted communities and introducing travel restrictions on a further four countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola. We will not hesitate to take further action if required.”
From 4am on Sunday, non-UK and non-Irish residents who have been in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England, officials said. This does not apply to those who have stayed airside and only transited through any of these countries while changing flights.
UK and Irish residents arriving from 4am on Sunday must isolate in a government-approved facility for 10 days. During their stay, they will be required to take a PCR test on day two and day eight.
South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Zimbabwe and Namibia were added to the UK’s travel red list on Thursday and passengers arriving in the UK from these countries from 4am on Sunday will be required to book and pay for a government-approved hotel quarantine for 10 days.