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Major red list update which could see Pakistan move to the amber list

Pakistan could be pulled from the red list on the next travel update after Dominic Raab called for it to be moved.

The Government has been criticised by MPs for not switching it to the amber list after the past two travel list updates.

A letter from 16 MPs, organised by Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi, previously said the country’s place on the red list is causing “grievous suffering” to people who are unable to see family members.

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Quoting figures from August 23, the letter says Pakistan’s Covid positivity rate has reduced from 7.70% to 6.78% and its daily mortality rate has gone down from 77 deaths a day to 74.

It said other European countries such as Spain, Italy and Germany, have not placed Pakistan on their red lists and have put in place a home-based quarantine policy.

The letter added: “The Government could have a policy whereby people can travel with negative PCR tests and World Health Organisation-approved vaccines (of which the majority in Pakistan are).

“The arriving passenger could then quarantine at home and be required to have repeat tests until they finish their quarantine – rather than pay a punitive amount of money to isolate in sub-standard hotels.”

However, it seems that the Foreign Secretary has now publicly called for the country to be on the amber list.

Raab told a press conference in Pakistan: “We do understand that this is a sensitive issue and a difficult issue.

“We base our decision on the technical evidence, the scientific basis. I understand that is often contested, which is all the more reason why it’s good that the Pakistan special adviser to Prime Minister Khan will be holding expert level talks with UK public health authorities.

“We want to find a way through, no-one wants Pakistan off the red list more than I do, but we take these decisions at a technical level.

“I think the smart thing for us to do is work together to enable that to happen as soon, as safely and as responsibly it can be done.”

The next traffic list update is expected on September 16 with more countries shifting around on the red, amber and green list.

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