Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 July 2021:
The British government has today announced that on Monday 19th July, 4am, Sierra Leone will join a long list of countries with very high prevalence of Covid infections, from which travellers are banned from entering England.
This means that if you are entering England from Sierra Leone, you will only be allowed entry if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK.
In which case, before you travel to England you must take a COVID-19 test; book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 tests; and complete a passenger locator form.
Your Covid test result should be provided as a printed document or an email or text message which you can show on your phone.
If you do not present proof of a negative Covid test, you may not be able to board your flight to England from Freetown. And if you arrive in England without proof of a negative test, you may be fined £500.
You must provide the original test result notification. It must include the following information:
- your name, which should match the name on your travel documents
- your date of birth or age
- the result of the test
- the date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
- the name of the test provider and their contact details
- confirmation of the device used for the test, or that the test was a PCR test
If the test result does not include this information you may not be able to board your flight. And if you arrive in England without a test result that includes the above information, you might have to pay a £500 fine.
If your test result is positive, you must not travel. You must follow local rules and guidance laid down by the government of Sierra Leone for positive coronavirus cases. If the result is inconclusive, you must take another test.
British nationals who need consular assistance should contact the British High Commission in Freetown.
Children aged 10 and under do not need to take a test. And if you are an adult, you do not need to take a test if you are travelling to the UK for urgent medical treatment or are accompanying someone who is travelling for urgent medical treatment, and it is not reasonably practical for you to obtain a negative COVID-19 test in the 3 days before departure; or, if you have a medical condition which means you cannot take a test – you must present a note from a medical practitioner at check in and to Border Force staff on arrival in England.
Providing false or deliberately misleading information when filling out your passenger locator form before travelling to England is an offence punishable by imprisonment.
You could be fined up to £10,000, imprisoned for up to 10 years, or both, if you do not provide accurate details about the countries you have visited in the 10 days before you arrived in the UK.
Before you travel to England you must book a managed quarantine hotel where you will quarantine. Your quarantine package will include your managed quarantine hotel, food and drink, quarantine transfers and your travel test package for COVID-19 on day 2 and day 8 of quarantine.
You will need to book, and pay for, a quarantine package before you complete your passenger locator form and board your return journey to the UK. You will only be able to book this within the two weeks prior to arriving in the UK.
If you break the quarantine rules you may face a penalty of up to £10,000.
The decision by the British government to downgrade Sierra Leone from its amber list to red list was expected, after over one thousand cases of Covid were recorded in just four weeks in June.
Although the number of people that have died remains relatively low at 102, there are fears this figure may be much higher.
Two weeks ago, the government of Sierra Leone announced new Covid restrictions across the country, including an 11pm to 5am curfew, and the closure of all places of worship – except for funerals.
The British government says it will keep its traffic lights list under constant review. Meanwhile it “advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Sierra Leone based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks”.
As the new variant of covid19 the delta virus,continue to spread in Sierra Leone, and elsewhere in the world, any earlier easing of restrictions has to be calculated, measured and in line with Covid19 protocols in place. This traffice light system, which the British government have adopted to determine which countries are classified as high risk countries, meaning the covid19 pandemic is spreading rapidly in those countries as opposed to those countries that have managed to vaccinate majority of their populations that are given the green light to visit the Uk, it doesn’t come as a suprise to me Sierra Leone was placed in the red light category of countries whose citizens wanting to visit the Uk to observe strict mandatory protocols. I think the Sierra Leone government should adopt the same measures. Covid19 didn’t starts in Sierra Leone, but brought to Sierra Leone by someone eles that was out of the country. Why is Sierra Leone suddenly placed on the holding pattern amongst the red zones countries, might explained two things.
The Bio government has been economical with the truth. The much taunted vacatination programme, and its up take amongst the general population, not his friends and Ministers, is slow at a snail pace. That the covid19 virus, figuratively speaking is heading North, rather than heading South where we all want it to go. Transparency which is the watch word here, which you can harldy claim Bio have managed to championed the way his government do business in the past three years , is not one you can associate with him unless of course you are an alien visiting from an other universe. Secondly, as always the case, just like we used to gets all the hard facts about our country from the BBC FOCUS ON AFRICA programme,, before the age of social media, seems to me the British government is aware of the under reporting of covid19 cases in Sierra Leone, than we are made aware by Bio and his government appointed NACOVERC team , that has not been straight with us.
The only way we can return to the Amber list of countries, is if people take up the vaccination if offered. At present Africa is struggling to get the jabs to their populations. And as with this virus no country is safe until all peoples are fully vaccinated. Pulling the draw bridge and telling other countries, you can either swim or sink in this covid19 pandemic will not help anyone. And when you think the virus started in China, now afeecting more than hundred countries around the World, any vacine nationalism will only prolong the pandemic. Countries need to work together to end this covid19 pandemic. Is doable, but cooperation, not segregation is what will do it.
$3 to buy the jab say 10 million people in salone that $30 million x 2 jab total 60 million dollor to jab full country. How many millions has goverment recieved in tackling covid – hundreds of millions. This country should make it compulsory to take jabs and protect the country. If not I can see it 4 or 5 or 6 years even more on red list.
And note Stargazer, it does not stop people travelling if they have correct documation. And Stargazer, I agree my filthy country ravaged and pillaged all around the globe just for greed in name of queen and king.
The imperialist West that once shackled and dragged our poor people away on Merchant slave ships with no reservations whatsoever now has a strange questionable traffic lights lists that they are using as a device to keep us away from their shores. Who can blame? For many years the British and Americans have been looking for ways to keep Africans away
from their countries now Covid19 has made things quite easier for them to do so. As an ugly face is concealed behind a mask so also are their prejudicial objectives craftily veiled by countless,stringent rules and regulations they have devised as formidable barriers that deny people with dark skins the opportunity to enter into England. Who doesn’t know that the old Colonial powers still haven’t changed their shadowy ways?
Again, this is the reason why Pan African leaders have been insisting that Africa should strive very hard to stand on her own two feet,so that the indignities of being subjected to the rules of others wouldn’t apply to us. A hell of a thing fear can be; The British know that by red lighting Sierra Leone that has an incompetent government,that doesn’t take the threats posed by Covid19 seriously their citizens would applaud every effort to keep them safe. Its time for African folks to begin to think of returning home and to those who see the West as a Paradise on earth, I say you must quit believing the streets in the West are pave with Gold. Its all lies.
People of Sierra Leone, do not attempt to bypass any of those rules they have put in place as safeguards against Covid.
If you take a foolhardy risk and get yourselves arrested – There will be hell to pay for sure.(lol)