Closed petition Remove Bangladesh from red list
To remove hotel quarantine for Bangladesh
Keep rapid testing
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
This response was given on 13 September 2021
Decisions on the Red List are made by Ministers, informed by the latest scientific data and public health advice, to protect public health and the vaccine rollout from variants of COVID-19.
Bangladesh was added the red list on 9 April 2021 with enhanced travel restrictions because there was evidence to suggest community transmission of variants of concern. UK Government took this decisive action to impose additional measures on Bangladesh to limit the importation of variants of concern and to protect the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
These measures permit entry to only British and Irish Nationals (and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK) arriving from red list countries, who are required to quarantine in government managed hotels. These are all temporary measures that are kept under regular review.
On 17 May 2021, UK Government introduced the traffic light system to provide a risk-based framework for the safe and sustainable return to international travel. The traffic light system categorises countries and territories based on risk to protect public health and the vaccine rollout from variants of COVID-19. The traffic light system categorises countries based on risk to protect public health and the vaccine rollout from variants of COVID-19. The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) produces risk assessments of countries and territories. Decisions on red, amber or green list assignment and associated border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account the JBC risk assessments, alongside wider public health factors.
Key factors in the JBC risk assessment of each country include:
- Genomic surveillance capability
- COVID-19 transmission risk
- Variant of Concern transmission risk
A summary of the JBC methodology is published on gov.uk, alongside key data that supports Ministers' decisions. The summary of the JBC methodology is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-risk-assessment-methodology-to-inform-international-travel-traffic-light-system and the data is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/data-informing-international-travel-risk-assessments.
Country allocations to the traffic light system are reviewed every three weeks, unless concerning evidence means we need to act faster to protect public health. At the last review on 26 August, it was decided that Bangladesh should remain on the red list because Bangladesh has low testing and limited sequencing, and as such we cannot be confident what has driven the recent wave in Bangladesh. Without measures, there is a risk of high-risk variants with potential for high public health risk to enter the UK from Bangladesh.
We will not compromise the hard-won progress we have made on our vaccine programme, but the measures we take are important steps in a return to safe and sustainable international travel that can co-exist with an endemic COVID-19.
As with all our coronavirus measures, we keep the red list under regular review and our priority remains to protect the health of the public in the UK.
Department for Transport
Other parliamentary business
MPs question the Government on international travel rules
On Monday 20 September, MPs questioned the Government on international travel, following a statement by the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps MP on the Government's rules for international travel, including the 'traffic light' system.
Read the Secretary of State's statement, and question from MPs: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-09-20/debates/42EC0566-BBD2-4620-8E7E-3F2C95E7CB5A/InternationalTravel
In his statement the Minister confirmed that Kenya, Oman, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Egypt will be removed from the red list at 4am on Wednesday 22 September.
Find out more about the changes to international travel rules: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-system-for-international-travel
What are ministerial statements?
Ministerial statements are a way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of the House, often at short notice. After making a statement the Minister responds to questions on its topic from MPs.