LONDON – The British government has decided to keep Pakistan on the travel red list as it updated its travel advisory for countries from where travellers are not allowed to enter the United Kingdom.
The development would be disappointing for Pakistani officials, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had urged the UK to move Pakistan to the amber list.
Reports said that the British officials reviewed three major factors – genomic surveillance capability, transmission risk, and variants of concern – to take the decision.
Earlier in this month, the US revised its travel advisory and allowed passengers from India, Qatar and other countries but it did not lift the ban on Pakistan.
On April 2, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turnerdeclared that Pakistan had been added to the UK’s red list of travel ban countries.
Only UK and Irish citizens, as well as those with UK citizenship privileges, would be able to return to the UK if they have spent the previous 10 days in Pakistan,” Turner said in a video message posted on Twitter.
Passengers travelling to the UK from Pakistan would be required to pay for a necessary quarantine stay at a hotel in the UK, according to the commissioner.
Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar had slammed the UK for putting Pakistan on its “red list,”.
In a tweet, Umar said, “Every country has the right to take decisions to safeguard the health of its people.”
The minister said that Britain’s recent decision to add several countries to the “red list,” like Pakistan, owing to rising coronavirus cases poses the “legitimate question whether choice of countries is based on science or foreign policy”.