Pakistan to remain on UK travel red list

Pakistan will remain on the United Kingdom’s travel red list according to the latest travel review announced on Thursday. The decision will cost many Pakistani families millions of rupees.

Failure to meet requirements pertaining to genomic surveillance capability, transmission risk and variants of concern has kept Pakistan on the red list, despite hopes by the country’s government that it will be moved to the amber list.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had also nudged the UK government in this regard. However, it seems the effort was fruitless and, consequently, many Pakistan will stay separated from their UK families.

The UK government has moved seven countries from the amber list to the green list and two countries from the amber list to the red list. It has not removed any nation from the red list.

India and several other countries remain inon the amber list.

After the latest review from 4 am on Monday, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Switzerland, and the Azores will be added to the green list, as the risk that travel from these countries poses to public health in the UK is low.

While Thailand and Montenegro will be added to the red list from the same date, reflecting the increased case rates in these countries and the higher risk that travel from these countries poses to UK public health.

“The high rates combined with lower levels of published genomic surveillance in Thailand and Montenegro than other countries mean that an outbreak of a new variant or existing variants of concern (VOC) or variants under investigation (VUI) cannot be easily identified before it is imported and seeded across the UK,” the review reads.

“Passengers arriving in the UK from these red list destinations will need to isolate for 10 days in a managed quarantine facility and follow the necessary testing requirements.

“The data for all countries will be kept under review and the government will not hesitate to take action should the data show that countries’ risk ratings have changed.”

What it means to be on the red list

For Pakistani families being on the UK’s travel red list means the loss of millions of Rupees. People from the red list countries have to follow certain protocols such as a mandatory 10-day stay at designated hotels. It incurs hundreds of pounds per person in hotel costs and test fees. For large families, the sum runs into millions of rupees.

The UK travel review reads people from the red list countries need to do the following.

Before travelling to England they need to

When they arrive in England, they must

quarantine in a managed hotel, including 2 COVID-19 tests

from News – SAMAA

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