A view of the Heathrow Airport in London. — Wikimedia Commons

The United Kingdom on Friday decided to take Pakistan off its “red list” for international travel after five months

British Transport SecretaryGrant Shapps

After immense pressure from the Labour party, United Kingdom Government has finally decided to remove Pakistan, Maldives and Turkey from the “red list” which was created 5 months back in April 2021.

Secretary Grant Shapps

In addition, testing was being made easier for travellers to the United Kingdom, Shapps said.

“From Oct 4, if you’re fully [vaccinated] you will not need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country and from later in Oct, are going to be ready to replace the day 2 PCR test with a less expensive lateral flow,” he shared.

The secretary also announced that the United Kingdom was scrapping its “traffic light” system for international travel, consistent with which low-risk countries were rated green for quarantine-free travel, medium risk countries were rated amber, and red countries required arrivals to spend 10 days in isolation during a hotel.

From Oct 4, there would be a “simplified system” for international travel, he said. Under the new proposal, there would be one red list while the principles would be simplified for all other countries, the secretary added.

While tons has yet to be made clear by UK authorities, an update on the British Government’s website said “passengers who aren’t recognised as being fully vaccinated with authorised vaccines and certificates under England’s international travel rules, will still need to take a pre-departure test, each day 2 and day 8 PCR test and self-isolate for 10 days upon their return from a non-red list country under the new two-tiered travel programme.”

Passengers considered unvaccinated could also be ready to end quarantine early if they buy a personal Covid-19 test through the Test to Release scheme, consistent with the update.

The news regarding the lifting of the travel restrictions was also shared by British diplomat to Pakistan Christian Turner.

Response of Pakistan

This decision of UK Government has hugely been hailed by Pakistani public office holders and ministers. Here are a few tweets after this good news.

British High Comissioner – Christian Turner in Pakistan
Chair of NCOC Pakistan – Asad Umar
Shireen Mazari – Minister of Human Rights & Woman Development

Thank you very much for reading this article. We’ll stay in touch with you in future with more updates.

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