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 NIDirect at Travel advice and guidance | nidirect