Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister

The United Kingdom (UK) is set to approve a decision to remove Nigeria and other nations from its travel red list, indicating that the government recognises that the Omicron Covid-19 variant cannot be controlled with travel restrictions.

Financial Times quoted two Whitehall sources to have said that the Covid operations cabinet committee, which is scheduled to convene on Tuesday, would approve the decision to remove travel restrictions, starting from Wednesday.

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, had said that the red list was no longer useful.

“If, as I think is likely, we see many more infections and this variant becomes the dominant variant, there will be less need to have any kind of travel restrictions at all,” he was quoted to have told the House of Commons.

While all nations will be taken off the red list, government sources have said that the system will remain on standby and may be triggered again in the future if necessary.

The countries on the red list, which requires a mandatory ten-day hotel quarantine for travellers, are Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

On December 5, the UK announced the addition of Nigeria to its travel red list, to take effect from 4 am on Monday, December 6.

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