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Covid-19: UK removes Turkey from travel red list

Egypt, Pakistan and Oman also among countries from which travellers will no longer be subjected to strictest restrictions
A UK border sign welcomes passengers on arrival at Heathrow airport in west London on 31 December 2020 (AFP)

As of next week, Turkey will no longer be on the UK's "red list" for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, British transport minister Grant Shapps said on Friday.

Other countries that will no longer be on the red list from 22 September include EgyptOmanPakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kenya and the Maldives, according to the latest official updates.

The UK Department of Transport's traffic-light system regulates entry into the country via ports and airports, with countries on the red list subject to the tightest restrictions and quarantine requirements.

Friday's decision is part of a bid to simplify London's travel restrictions due to the pandemic, with Shapps saying that destinations would now simply be ranked low or high risk, instead of red, amber and green.

Last month's decision by the UK to keep Turkey on the red list had angered Turkish officials, who pointed to lower infection and death rates in the country compared with others on the less-restrictive amber list.