UK Covid red list countries: More destinations added to ‘high-risk’ list but Portugal and Mauritius are removed

THE UK government has added more countries to their "high risk" list, which bans all travel.

Ethiopia, Oman, Qatar and Somalia have all been added to the red list from today.

Anyone returning to England from these countries will have to quarantine at a government-mandated hotel at their own cost.

Costing £1,750, the mandatory quarantine means returning travellers cannot self-isolate at home and must remain there for 10 days.

The government website states: "If you arrive in the UK from these places after 4am Friday 19 March, you must stay in your quarantine hotel for your 10-day quarantine period and take a COVID-19 test on day 2 and day 8."

However, it is good news for more popular holiday destinations Mauritius and Portugal, which have both been removed from today.

While the current rules require returning Brits to quarantine, this can be done at home without having to pay for the hotel quarantine.

All returning travellers must however must pay for two negative Covid tests before travelling, costing £210 through the government website.

However, the 10-day quarantine can be reduced to just five days through the Test to Release scheme with an additional Covid test on day 5.

This is due to the current lockdown restrictions – when restrictions lift, it will mean holidays can return to the popular destinations.

An official date for when holidays abroad can resume is yet to be given although the earliest date is May 17, to be revealed next month.

Full list of red list travel ban countries

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Oman
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Portugal wants Brits back May 17 – the country's Secretary of State for Tourism Rita Marques confirmed that they were working on measures to allow vaccinated travellers or those with immunisation.

She told the BBC's Today programme: "We are working on it and we hope to welcome all British holidaymakers from May 17.

"Holidaymakers can present to Portuguese authorities a certification that testifies they are vaccinated or have immunisation to the virus of they have a negative Covid test.

"It will be very straightforward process."

However, summer holidays in Europe are at risk due to 'more dangerous and transmissible' Covid strains, according to analysis by Morgan Stanley.

The study said: "Europe's high cases and slow vaccine drive could lead to a late reopening, putting a second summer at risk which would exacerbate the north-south divide and could trigger further policy easing."

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Here is everything you need to know about how Covid will affect your holiday this year.

We've explained the latest travel advice for which countries want Brits back this summer.

Greece, Spain and Cyprus all wants UK travellers back from May with vaccine passports, along with Portugal.

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