Don’t cancel holidays but accept ‘element of risk’ with omicron variant, says minister 

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Britons should not cancel their holidays but must accept there is a renewed “element of risk” when travelling, the health minister has said.

All new arrivals to the UK will be required to take a PCR test from 4am on Tuesday, while the red list, which was abolished at the end of October, has also been reintroduced to require hotel quarantine for travellers from 10 African countries.

Mr Argar said further cases of omicron should be expected beyond the three infections currently confirmed in England and six in Scotland.

“We’re saying follow [the rules] for red list countries, that is difficult in this context, I appreciate that,” he said.

“If people are coming back from South Africa we’re putting in place the quarantine hotels, that’s a big cost and I think people will think about that very carefully.

“[For] other countries, we’ve said PCR testing etcetera. We’re not saying cancel your holidays to France or other countries, but we have put in place that proportionate testing and border control.

“We cannot say what will happen there over the coming weeks, and in travelling at the moment with this virus, particularly with a new variant around, there is an element of risk.”

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