Dominic Raab: ‘No-one wants Pakistan off the red list more than I do’

Dominic Raab has said he wants Pakistan removed from the Government’s red list for travel restrictions.

The Foreign Secretary told a press conference in the country that the UK understands “this is a sensitive issue”.

Pakistan was put on the red list on April 9 due to concerns about the risk of travellers importing new variants of coronavirus into the UK.

The policy means arrivals from red list locations must spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel, costing £2,285 for solo travellers.

There have been calls for Pakistan to be moved to the lower-risk amber list, as happened to neighbour India on August 8.

Arrivals from amber tier locations who are fully vaccinated are not required to self-isolate, while those who are not must quarantine at home.

Coronavirus data analyst Tim White said there was a “potentially significant development in Pakistan” on Friday, as it reported a positive test rate in the previous 24 hours of just 6.3%, which was “the lowest for a while”.

There was also a “small fall” in the number of cases, he added.

Mr Raab said: “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 (Imran) 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 as it can be done.”