Accra, Oct. 08, GNA - The Government of the United Kingdom (UK), says Ghana will be added to the list of countries and territories with approved proof of COVID-19 vaccination from 0400 hours on Monday, 11 October.
A statement issued by the UK Government, which was made available to the Ghana News Agency, also announced that from 0400 hours, Monday, 11 October, eligible travellers vaccinated in over 37 new countries and territories including Ghana, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey, would also be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated UK residents, so long as they had not visited a red list country or territory in the 10 days before arriving in England.
It said from 11 October, the red list would reduce to seven countries and proof of vaccination would be recognised from 37 new countries and territories.
It noted that the UK Government had confirmed that from 0400 hours, Monday 11 October, 47 countries and territories would be removed from its red list, making it easier for more people to travel abroad to a larger number of countries and territories.
It said passengers returning to England from these destinations would no longer be required to enter hotel quarantine.
The statement said the continued progress on vaccination both at home and around the world meant that government could confidently reduce the size of the red list to focus on countries which pose the highest risk, informed by UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) assessment.
It said eligible fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under 18s returning from countries and territories not on the red list, could do so with just a day two test.
It noted that other passengers who were not fully vaccinated with an authorised vaccine returning from a non-red destination must still take a pre-departure test, a day two and day eight test and complete 10 days self-isolation (with the option of Test to Release on day five).
The statement noted that passengers who were not eligible travellers with an authorised vaccine arriving from a rest of world destination must still take a pre-departure test, a day two and day eight test and complete 10 days self-isolation (with the option of Test to Release on day five).
It said the latest travel update builds on the announcement from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office earlier this week that it has lifted advice against all but essential travel for over 30 countries and territories.
It said more advisories would be removed as countries and territories come off the red list, making it easier for people to be covered by insurance when travelling to a wider list of destinations.
Mr Grant Shapps, the UK Transport Secretary, said: "With half-term and winter sun around the corner, we’re making it easier for families and loved ones to reunite, by significantly cutting the number of destinations on the red list, thanks in part to the increased vaccination efforts around the globe".
"Restoring people’s confidence in travel is key to rebuilding our economy and levelling up this country. With less restrictions and more people traveling, we can all continue to move safely forward together along our pathway to recovery."
Mr Sajid Javid said, the UK Health and Social Care Secretary, said: "Our robust border measures have helped protect the phenomenal progress of our vaccination programme, and it is because of this success both here and around the world that we can safely open up travel further and we can visit friends and family abroad."
"We’re now making it easier and cheaper for people to travel by allowing fully vaccinated travellers from non-red list countries to use lateral flow tests on day two of arrival, as long as they provide proof of use."
The statement said “the change to restrictions builds on the recent simplification of international travel rules, including the removal of pre-departure testing for eligible fully vaccinated travellers implemented earlier this week. Government scientists would continue to engage with countries still on the red list and keep the evidence on variants of concern, especially Lambda and Mu, under close review in order to ensure the UK’s approach remains proportionate.”
It said the UK Government would maintain surveillance at the border through testing and genomic sequencing, so that they could respond rapidly if risks from any country increased.
It said “from late October, eligible fully vaccinated passengers including under 18s returning from a rest of world country will have the option to replace their day two test with a cheaper lateral flow test, followed by a free PCR test if positive, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England.”
It noted that the UK Government could also confirm passengers taking postal tests would be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test as a minimum requirement to verify the test result, with the ambition remaining to had this in place for people returning from half-term breaks by the end of the month.
The statement said the data for all countries and territories would be kept under review and the UK Government would not hesitate to take action where a country’s epidemiological picture changes.