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The Financial Express

UK removes Bangladesh from COVID-19 red list

| Updated: September 18, 2021 10:48:12


A worker sanitising a barrier at the international arrivals area of London's Heathrow Airport in Britain on August 2 this year -Reuters file photo A worker sanitising a barrier at the international arrivals area of London's Heathrow Airport in Britain on August 2 this year -Reuters file photo

The United Kingdom has lifted travel restrictions imposed on Bangladesh and seven other countries under the red-list due to the rising trend of Covid-19 cases last year.

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the UK government has taken a decision to remove Bangladesh, Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, and Kenya from the red list.

The exclusion will come into effect on September 22, according to a BBC report published on Friday.

It means people returning from these countries will no longer have to stay in hotel quarantine. And PCR tests will no longer be required for fully-vaccinated travellers returning to England.

Under the new testing regime introduced by the UK, people who have had both jabs will not need to take a pre-departure test before leaving any country, not on the red list.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen welcomed the decision from the British government and thanked it for keeping the request of Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has taken initiatives to simplify the international travel traffic light system with a single red list, as part of an overhaul of the rules from 4 October.

The British transport secretary said the new travel rules would remain in place "at least until the new year".

"The purpose is to make it easier to travel without the bureaucracy, without so many tests, and with a greater level of certainty now that we've got so many people vaccinated," he said.

The travel industry said the announcement was a step towards helping tourism recover.

Stewart Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick Airport, said customers can "book with more confidence in the months before Christmas and beyond" and said there was "significant pent-up demand for travel".

But he said the remaining constraints on travel, such as the need to fill out a passenger locator form, should also be removed.

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