Red list: Georgia, Mexico, La Reunion and Mayotte added

Georgia, Mexico and the French overseas territories of La Réunion and Mayotte have been downgraded from amber to red in the latest reshuffle of the government’s traffic light lists for international travel.

The changes came into effect in England at 4am on 8 August.

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Those entering the UK from these destinations will now be subject to 11 nights of government-mandated hotel quarantine. This quarantine previously cost £1,750 per solo traveller but will be increasing to £2,285 as of 12 August.

These countries and regions all “present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of COVID-19”, according to a statement from the Department for Transport.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps announced that these four destinations were to be moved onto the red list during the latest tri-weekly review, which took place on 4 August, a day earlier than expected.

Mr Shapps said: “We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we’ve made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.

“While we must continue to be cautious, today’s changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public.”

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said: “As well as moving more countries to the green list, today’s announcement also demonstrates the need for continued caution. Further countries have been added to the red list to help protect the success of our vaccine rollout from the threat of new variants.”

The Indian Ocean islands of La Réunion and Mayotte are overseas departments of France.

When France was added to the amber plus list last month, with the UK government citing high cases of the Beta variant of Covid-19 as a factor in that decision, speculation was rife that this was due to case numbers in La Réunion, rather than on the French mainland.

As part of the same update, the government has announced that it will scrap the controversial “amber plus” category.

As of 8 August, France will return to the amber list, meaning arrivals from France will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.

In addition, four destinations were moved from the red to the amber list – India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE – while a further seven countries were added to the green list.

Arrivals from Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will be able to avoid quarantine, whatever their vaccine status.

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