Live travel news: redlist removed from today but tests remain

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The British government has removed the red list of international travel from 4 a.m. today, Wednesday 15 December.

Announced yesterday by Health Secretary Sajid Javid in the House of Commons, the move comes in response to the rapid global spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“Now that there is community transmission, less red travel is less efficient,” Mr. Javid said.

However, travelers already quarantined at hotels have yet to be officially released.

Some came out this morning, claiming that staying was “unnecessary exercise”.

A hotel security guard said The independent: “I have had nine so far. The police are not interested.

Meanwhile, the French government is considering tighter border controls for British travelers.

“Regarding Great Britain, the current rule is to present a negative test within 48 hours to enter France,” said French government spokesman Gabriel Attal. Info France radio Tuesday.

“But we are still looking for ways to tighten the framework, we are working on it now and we should, I think, come to a conclusion in the next few days.”

Follow all of the latest travel updates below:

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Jet2 calls remaining UK travel restrictions “disproportionate and excessive”

In response to today’s removal from the redlist, Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2holidays, called the remaining travel restrictions “disproportionate and excessive”.

He said: “While removing 11 countries from the Red List is good news, the fact that disproportionate and excessive travel restrictions remain in place for the Christmas holidays is very disappointing. Again, international travel has to follow a completely different rulebook compared to other areas of daily life.

“As an airline and tour operator, we recognize how important safety is and we make it our number one priority at all times. However, we don’t see how the current travel testing regime adds more than hassle, cost, and disruption to hard-working clients and families who just want to get away for a well-deserved vacation during peak season. Christmas vacation.

“Like our customers, we are confused and frustrated that the Health Secretary has today viewed travel restrictions as’ less effective in slowing omicron from overseas”, while at the same time the UK government continues to “Impose such severe travel restrictions. The government seems to be telling us on the one hand that travel restrictions are less effective, while on the other hand insisting that travel restrictions remain in place.”

Helene coffeyDecember 15, 2021 10:29 AM

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France seeks to toughen rules for UK travelers

France plans to impose stricter restrictions on travelers from the UK.

“Regarding Great Britain, the current rule is to present a negative test dating less than 48 hours to enter France,” French government spokesman Gabriel Attal told France Info radio on Tuesday.

“But we are still looking for ways to tighten the framework, we are working on it now and we should, I think, come to a conclusion in the next few days.”

Helene coffeyDecember 15, 2021 10:05 AM

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The chaos at the end of the red list but the quarantine of hotels continues

“This morning, we thought we could leave, that no one had the right to stop us, that there was no law preventing us from leaving the hotel. So this morning we went out.

This is what Professor Giles Wigg of the University of Oxford said as he left the hotel quarantine at the Sofitel at Gatwick Airport just after 6 a.m.

Although officials have advocated for time to complete the correct paperwork, a steady stream of travelers have withdrawn from hotel quarantine at the airport since 4 a.m.

“It became increasingly clear that this was an unnecessary exercise – that the variant was already in community transmission across the UK,” said Professor Wigg.

“Over the days, we all felt it was all a waste of time. I certainly felt a bit of a political pawn.

Simon calderDecember 15, 2021 9:28 AM

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Hello and welcome to The independentthe live travel blog of. We will bring you all the latest updates throughout the day.

Helene coffeyDecember 15, 2021 9:19 AM

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“Protecting Us All”: The Chaotic History of the British Red List

Seventeen days after the government canceled all flights from South Africa to the UK and relaunched the Red List, the process has again been reversed.

The belated recognition of the futility of hotel quarantine to protect against a variant that is already engulfing the UK is the latest U-turn in the saga of the UK’s ever-evolving hotel quarantine and hospitality policies. ban on theft.

Read the full story of a bizarre string of ministerial decisions:

Simon calderDecember 14, 2021 5:48 PM

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Travel Network supports government removal from red list

Gary Lewis, CEO of The Travel Network Group, which represents more than 1,200 UK travel companies, said of today’s announcement that the last 11 countries are being removed from the UK’s red list United: “Our support for government updates on travel during this pandemic has been limited, but we support today’s announcement which will see all countries removed from the red list.

“After nearly 20 months of this crisis, we are going to have to learn to live with Covid and force tourists returning to the United Kingdom from so-called ‘red list’ countries to isolate themselves in expensive hotels. nothing the travel industry to get to its knees.

“We fully support testing measures, and we fully support safe overseas travel, but we have to be pragmatic, Covid is here for the long haul.

“We need our government to work with the travel industry to provide clear and timely direction, actionable plans and affordable testing solutions. There have been too many impromptu and poorly scheduled travel impositions, but today we welcome this adjustment to the self-isolation rules. “

Helene coffeyDecember 14, 2021 5:02 PM

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Sign up for Simon Calder’s weekly travel newsletter

A passage from Simon Calder’s weekly travel bulletin of Friday, December 10, seems salient today.

“I am not accusing the British government of wanting to create as much hassle and uncertainty as possible for travelers. But his rapidly evolving, inconsistent, and irrational rule changes did just that.

‘A few hundred yards from international arrivals at Gatwick, travelers from Southern Africa were paying a fortune for the misery of hotel quarantine – apparently to protect the rest of us from the omicron variant of the coronavirus, which is already (according to government advisers) spreading like wildfire in the UK.

Helene coffeyDecember 14, 2021 4:43 PM

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Quarantine of hotels is a violation of human rights, we will say in court

Quarantined couple Emily Mennie and Owen Hancock demanded that the cost of hotel quarantine for those caught up in politics in recent weeks be immediately reimbursed by the government, and called for the urgent release of all people quarantined at the hotel.

Owen, from Tooting, south London, said: ‘It is clear that the government has listened to the 60,000 people who signed our petition and the hundreds of travelers who are furious at the very high cost of hotel quarantine. .

“The fact that the government decided less than two weeks later that testing fully vaccinated travelers is a better solution shows that the hasty reintroduction of hotel quarantine was unfair. We must all be released today and allowed to be in isolation at home now. “

Emily added: “What it shows is that hundreds of travelers like us have been treated unfairly, landed with huge credit card bills and been jailed for no good reason. Boris Johnson and his government now owe it to themselves. urgently reimburse all travelers who have had to pay, in our case almost £ 4,000. ”

PGMBM managing partner Tom Goodhead, whose company sued the government last week, said: disproportionate.

“The fact that the government changed tactics so quickly shows that the hasty reintroduction of the Red List was a mistake. But this mistake resulted in the unfair treatment of hundreds of people, forced to pay huge fees for their own imprisonment even though they followed the rules. And all this a few weeks before Christmas.

“It is for this reason that PGMBM will go to the Court of Appeal to seek justice for those who have been affected in recent weeks as well as those who had to go through this unjustifiable process earlier in the year.”

Helene coffeyDecember 14, 2021 4:13 PM

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Which countries are currently on the red list?

Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced this afternoon that the red list will be erased again from tomorrow, December 15.

A total of 11 countries were added between November 29 and December 4, in response to the omicron variant, but ministers today announced that closing borders to some countries has become unnecessary through community transmission in the UK. United.

But how will this affect travel?

For all the background to the UK’s highest risk list, including which 11 countries need to be cleared and when, read our full rundown of the red list:

Lucy thackrayDecember 14, 2021 3:35 PM

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The test rules will be reviewed the first week of January

While the red list is due to be removed tomorrow, the current testing rules for travel will be reviewed during the first week of January, the transport secretary confirmed.

Grant Shapps tweeted: “As of 4 a.m. on Wednesday December 15, ALL 11 countries will be taken off the red list for travel to England.

“All current TEST measures remain in place and will be reviewed during the first week of January.”

Since the beginning of December, travelers returning to the UK must undergo a Covid test before travel on the day of departure or within the two days before, as well as travelers who have been vaccinated and who must use PCR tests for their ‘second day’ post-arrival. test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

Unvaccinated travelers should still self-isolate at home for 10 days and should use PCR tests for their day two and day eight tests.

Lucy thackrayDecember 14, 2021 3:02 PM

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