‘No plans' to remove red list or hotel quarantine, says government spokesperson

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‘No plans’ to remove red list or hotel quarantine, says government spokesperson
© Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Dominican Republic remains on the seven-strong red list

– Getty Images/iStockphoto

England has no plans to abolish its “red list” of high-risk countries for Covid, which requires travellers to quarantine in hotels on arrival, Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson has said.

But the spokesperson did not rule out the possibility that the final seven countries on the list will be removed when transport secretary Grant Shapps unveils the latest update on travel restrictions later today.

He dismissed reports that the seven – Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela – will all be declared safe as “speculation”, insisting that final meetings to decide any changes were still to take place.

The spokesperson said: “The Covid-O committee meets to discuss things like travel in relation to Covid on a regular basis.

“There are no plans to remove hotel quarantine in the way that’s been reported. And likewise on scrapping the red list, as has been reported as well.

“The meetings need to happen where they decide what countries should or should not be on the red list.

“I think it’s important to clarify on the red list, countries may come off, countries may come on, and those numbers may get low. I’m not going to speculate.

But the red list will still remain an important tool, should it be needed, in identifying countries where particularly there are high-risk variants.”

Asked whether he was ruling out the possibility that the red list could remain in existence but have no countries on it, the spokesperson replied: “I’m just not going to speculate on how many how many countries may or may not be on it, pending decisions.

That is based on advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and then considered in the round and ministers decide what’s appropriate.”

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