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COVID-19 spread: UK adds Pakistan, more countries to ‘red list’

LONDON: The United Kingdom (UK) has added more countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh to its red list from April 9 – 2021 in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 variants internationally, ARY News reported on Friday.

The British authorities have added Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Kenya to its red list to be effective from 4:00 am (local time) Friday, April 9 – 2021 for implementing travel bans on visitors from the countries.

Under the restrictions imposed by the UK Department for Transport, British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights (including long-term visa holders) will be required to self-isolate in a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days.

The passengers will have to bear expenses of around £1,500 for staying at a hotel during the quarantine period in the UK.

Moreover, the move follows new data showing an increased risk of importation of variants of concern.

The international visitors who have departed from or transited through Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Kenya in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England, according to the UK authorities.

Only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights in the UK (including long-term visa holders), will be allowed to enter and they must stay in a government-approved quarantine facility for 10 days.

The passengers will also be required to arrive at a designated port. No direct flight bans from these countries will be put in place, but passengers are advised to check their travel plans before departing for England.

During their stay, passengers will be required to take a coronavirus test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8, and they will not be allowed to shorten their quarantine period on receipt of a negative test result.

They will also not be able to end their managed quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme.

The UK transport department stated that the additional restrictions will help to reduce the risk of new variants – such as those first identified in South Africa (SA) and Brazil – entering England at a critical time for the vaccine programme.

So far, surveillance has found that few cases of the SA variant have been identified as being imported from Europe, with most coming from other parts of the world, it added.

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