Red list countries: Which destinations are on the list and do I still have to quarantine?

Nigeria has been added to the UK's red list today, due to the new Omicron Covid variant.

The country joins ten other African countries that were placed on the list in November.

Nigeria has been added to the list after 21 cases of Omicron reported in England were linked to travel from the country, with 134 UK cases now reported in total.

Which countries have been added to the red list?

Nigeria joins Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Namibia on the red list.

Despite the traffic light system being effectively scrapped earlier this month, the red list procedures remained in place as a precaution.

The government warned that countries could be added back on to the list if cases start to rise.

The red list additions will be examined at a three-week review point onDecember 20.

Will I have to quarantine coming back from the countries?

The hotel quarantine rules are still in place, if returning from a country on the red list.

Anyone returning from a red list country has to prebook a stay at a government-mandated hotel, quarantining for 10 days which costs £2,285 per person.

An additional person pays £1,430, while kids cost £325.

Why were the countries added to the red list?

The new red list countries were added following the discovery of the new Omicron Covid strain, due to fears it could threaten the UK's vaccine success.

The strain is behind an explosion of new cases in South Africa, with some regions seeing a six-fold rise in infections in a matter of days.

There are concerns that the new variant identified in South Africa is considerably more transmissible than the Delta strain and that the vaccines that we currently have may be less effective.

Currently called B.1.1.529, the bug has 32 mutations – twice as many as the delta variant.

Government scientists are spooked by the new strain, saying their main worry is the virus spike protein is “dramatically different” to the original Covid virus.

It means the vaccines and blockbuster new drugs will struggle to neutralise it – with optimistic estimates it will reduce efficacy by around a third.

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