Malawi and Mozambique were added to the NI red list from 4 pm on 26 November 2021 whilst Angola and Zambia will be included from 4 am on 28 November 2021. They join the following countries already placed on the red list: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini.
These actions have been taken in response to the emerging threat from the new omicron variant (B.1.1.529).
The Department of Health is liaising closely with colleagues across the UK and RoI.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Michael McBride said: “The emergence of the omicron variant is a serious and concerning development following the extreme pressures that we have already faced during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic to date. Whilst it is highly likely that there will be cases of the variant in NI at some point it is essential that preventative measures are taken to delay and/or reduce its incursion. This is a rapidly developing situation with the potential need for the addition of more countries to the Red List in the coming days.”
Dr McBride concluded: “It is really important that everyone takes sensible precautions - get a PCR test if you have symptoms. self-isolate when asked and wear your face-covering. Remember to ventilate rooms and please get your vaccine and boosters as soon as you can.”
It is the Department of Health’s intention to align Northern Ireland with the rest of the UK on PCR testing and self-isolation requirements for new arrivals.
Further information on international travel can be found on NI Direct.
Notes to editors:
- For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt
- The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
- Appointment of council members to the Patient & Client Council 23 February 2024
- Health Minister writes to the BMA Junior Doctors Committee 20 February 2024
- Swann sets out waiting list task 20 February 2024
- Increase in funded IVF provision 15 February 2024