Travellers have to book a quarantine package costing MK1.8 million
Move to provide additional protection new and potentially harmful variants-Beer
Effective today 15th February, 2021, any person travelling to England from a red list country which includes Malawi, is expected to quarantine in an assigned hotel room for 10 days upon their arrival in line with the additional measures introduced by the British government.
Additionally, before travelling there, individuals will have to book a quarantine package costing £1, 750 per person an equivalent of K1.75 million which by Malawian standards is on the higher side.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the new travel measures on 9th February.
Hancock said a £1,000 fine will be given to any international arrival who does not take a mandatory Coronavirus test and a £5,000 fine rising to £10,000 for those who do not quarantine in a designated hotel from Monday.
Commenting on the restrictions through a Kulinji.com questionnaire, British High Commissioner to Malawi David Beer, confirmed a ban on inward travel remains in place for travelers from a number of countries across Southern Africa and other parts of the world, including Malawi.
It however excludes British and Irish nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK, who remain eligible to enter.
He justified the strong measures have been put in order to stop the spread of new variants of COVID-19, track any new cases and detect new variants.
“The British government announced additional measures for the latter category, in order to provide an additional layer of protection against the risk posed by new and potentially harmful variants.
“Travelers who remain eligible to enter the United Kingdom must book into dedicated hotels, before they travel, through an online system and pay for a 10 day quarantine package.
“Travelers will also need to undertake mandatory testing on day two and eight of their 10-day quarantine. We are making these changes to better track any new cases which might be brought into the country and give us more opportunities to detect new variants," said Beer.
On the AstraZeneca vaccine whose efficacy has come under contention in South Africa and its roll-out halted after a study showed “disappointing” results against the new Coronavirus variant found in the country, he explained his government is nonetheless proud to be part of the global response to the pandemic.
“The World Health Organisation has recommended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in all adults. The UK is proud to be part of the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic and WHO’s decision is an important step towards equitable access to vaccines,” wrote the diplomat
Malawi has had diplomatic relations with the UK during the post-colonial era and continues to be a beneficiary of UK aid.
Angola, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, Mozambique Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania Zambia and Zimbabwe are some of the 33 countries currently on the UK’s red list.