UK removes Pakistan from COVID-19 Red List

Britain has finally announced to remove Pakistan from the United Kingdom (UK) Travel Advisory Red List which will be effective from September 22, 2021 at 4:00 am (local time).

According to details, after constant pressure from Pakistan, the British government finally removed Pakistan’s name from the red list of travel bans which marks as a great diplomatic success. A total of 8 countries, including Pakistan, have been removed from the red list.

Besides Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Oman and Bangladesh were also removed from the red list. After the expulsion of Pakistan from the red list, the condition of 14 days quarantine on Pakistanis going to the UK has been removed. It has been informed that the decision to remove 8 countries including Pakistan from the red list will take effect from September 22, 2021.

It should be noted that Pakistan had hoped that it would be removed from the red list of travel bans by the British government only last month, however, in the announcement made on August 26, 2021, Pakistan was kept in the red list.

The British government had placed Pakistan on the red list of travel bans from April 9, 2021 this year. The British government had added Pakistan to the red list before India became the epicentre of the Delta variant of COVID-19, to which the Pakistani community in the UK and members of the British Parliament reacted strongly.

Later, the British government removed India from the red list and put it in the amber list, while Pakistan remained on the red list.

Members of the British Parliament called their government’s decision discriminatory against Pakistan. Following this decision, the British government claimed that since Pakistan had not provided any data related to COVID-19, it was included in the red list.

Following this claim by the British government, the government of Pakistan provided all the data related to coronavirus in the country to the British government, however, despite this move, Pakistan was kept on the red list.

In all these circumstances, Prime Minister Imran Khan raised the issue in a meeting with the British Foreign Secretary on September 3, 2021 and took a stand that the UK is concerned about keeping Pakistan on the red list. Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan is on the red list due to which dual citizenship holders face difficulties.

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