The UK's red list for travel: Which countries have the travel ban?

The UK will remove the remaining 11 countries from its travel ban list this Wednesday

7 mins

Please note: The information in this article applies to UK travellers, and is up to date as of 2.50pm on 14 December.

The government has announced from 4am on Wednesday 15 December, all eleven African countries will be removed from the red list. 

The countries on the red list were Nigeria, Mozambique, Malawi, Angola. Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe. They were added at the end of November due to growing concerns over the new omicron COVID-19 variant. 

The testing measures for arrivals will stay in place, including pre-arrival negative PCR or later flow test to be taken within 48 hours.

For the full list of quarantine-free countries and their rules, see our latest Coronavirus update.

From Monday 4 October, a single red list replaced the previous traffic-light system for the UK, simplifying the rules for the rest of the world. Fully vaccinated travellers will not need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red list country, but will need to take a PCR test on day two of their arrival.

While we do our best to keep abreast of developments do always double-check official sources before making travel arrangements. 


South Africa will be removed from the UK red list (Shutterstock)

South Africa will be removed from the UK red list (Shutterstock)

What are the red list travel rules in the UK?

Anyone entering the UK from a red list country, regardless of their vaccination status, will need to take a pre-departure test three days before coming to England, book a quarantine hotel package which include two covid tests, quarantine for 10 days, and complete a passenger locator form. 

Prices for a government-approved quarantine hotel package cost £2,285 and must be booked via the government portal. Failure to arrange this before returning home can result in a fine up to £4,000.

There are also large penalty fines for non-compliance to the red list quarantine rules.

Only UK residents are allowed to return to the UK from a red list country. Anyone else will be refused entry at the border.

See more about the red list on the government website.

We have listed the countries remaining on the UK's red list below with their individual travel rules.



What countries are currently on the UK's red list for travel? 

No countries are currently on the UK's red list.

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