This move “follows new data showing an increased risk of importation of variants of concern,” the government notes.
The government’s statement continues by saying:
“With over 24 million vaccinations delivered in the UK so far, the move will help to reduce the risk of new variants – such as those first identified in South Africa and Brazil – entering England.”
Therefore, as of 04:00 on Friday, March 19th, visitors who have departed from or transited through these countries in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England. Only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights (including long-term visa holders), will be allowed to enter and must stay in a government-approved facility for 10 days.
During their stay, they will be required to take a coronavirus test on the 2nd and 8th day.
What about other parts of the UK?
Due to the division of government jurisdictions, other countries that are part of the UK have their own lists and restrictions. Therefore it appears that, at the time of publishing this article, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland do not have a similar restriction on Qatar. Scotland is of particular interest as it is the only other destination to which Qatar Airways currently operates a direct service from Doha- flying to the capital city of Edinburgh.
Scotland’s list was last updated on March 1st, meaning that there is a chance it could follow England’s move and add Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia, and Qatar to its own list of “acute risk countries.” In general, the countries of the UK have had quite similar travel restrictions.
Those flying direct from Doha to Edinburgh would still face a number of requirements, however. Travelers must have proof of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test, which must be taken three days before they start the journey to Scotland.
Are you affected by this new update to England’s red list? Share your experience with us by leaving a comment.