The U.K. now leads the world in confirmed Omicron cases but most EU countries are now seeing cases in non-travellers with only 13% of Omicron being found in travellers.
According to current data from medical reports obtained by Report Focus News. As of 13 December there have been 1,686 recorded cases in the EU which compares with 4,713 cases in the UK, with a daily total of 1,576. Ten people are in hospital with Omicron and there has been one death.
The U.K. had put 11 African countries on its red-list in an effort to shut out Omicron. Nonetheless, as of today Wednesday 15 December 2021, the U.K. government has said that all 11 countries will be removed from its travel red list.
Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe are on the list.
Speaking on why the U.K. had scraped the red list Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Omicron had already spread so widely the rules no longer had much purpose.
“Now that there is community transmission of Omicron in the UK and Omicron has spread so widely across the world, the travel red list is now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad,” he told Parliament.
“Whilst we will maintain our temporary testing measures for international travel we will be removing all 11 countries from the travel red list effective from 4am tomorrow morning.” (Meaning today, Wednesday 15 December 2021).
In as much as emptying the red list made “complete sense” it only would be sensible for the U.K. government to also scrap the remaining travel restrictions.
Currently all arrivals, regardless of where they fly from, must take Covid tests within 48 hours of setting off for the UK and PCR tests within two days of their arrival.
“If the red list isn’t necessary, given that Omicron is established here at home, then neither are the costly emergency testing and isolation measures imposed on even fully vaccinated travellers, which again puts the U.K. completely at odds with the rest of Europe.