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UK removes Somalia from 'red list'

Friday October 8, 2021

London (UK) - The UK has confirmed that Somalia will be among the 47 countries that will see eased entry starting on Monday, scraping the need for a mandatory ten-day quarantine upon arrival at the traveller's expense.

UK's cabinet decided to do away with the controversial 'traffic light system' in exchange for a single red list.

newsisideOnly seven nations -- all in Latin America -- will remain on the red list.

Anyone arriving in the UK from a location on the red list must spend 11 nights in a quarantined hotel.

The cost accommodations is £2,285 ($3,104) for solo travellers, pricing many people out of travel.

The move was welcomed by airlines and the hospitality industry, which were battered during the pandemic.

"It finally feels like we are seeing the light at the end of a very long tunnel," Sean Doyle, chief executive officer of British Airways, said in a separate statement.

The UK Embassy in Somalia welcomed the decision, saying it was a signal of solid cooperation between the UK and Somalia.

Although many have welcomed the decision, the UK government is still facing criticism for its list of countries with approved COVID-19 vaccination programs. As it stands, the UK does not accept proof of vaccination from a single African nation, despite most of Africa's vaccines coming from the WHO's vaccine sharing program COVAX - which is donated from wealthy western countries, including the UK.

Many people have slammed the ordinance as racist, pointing to the hypocrisy of accepting travellers from the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand while rejecting visitors from the global south even if they both have had vaccines approved by UK authorities. 

The UK will update that list on Monday to add 35 countries, including Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morrocco, Nigeria, South Africa.

The UK will not accept proof of vaccines from Somalia.


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