This is why Mexico is moving to the red travel list - and the new rules you'll have to follow

Friday, 6th August 2021, 1:58 pm
Mexico was deemed 'a high public health risk' (Photo: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images)

On Wednesday (4 August), the Government issued the newest update to the countries on the travel traffic light system.

Whilst this update will see a number of countries be moved onto the green list, such as Austria, Germany, Norway and Slovakia, a handful of countries are set to be moved to the red list, including Mexico.

This is everything you need to know.

Why has Mexico been moved to the red list?

Prior to the update to the travel list, Mexico had been on the UK’s amber list - however, from 4am on Sunday 8 August, it will be added to the red list.

In the update, the Government said that Mexico, and the other countries being moved to the red list, “presents 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”.

Alongside Mexico, Georgia, La Reunion and Mayotte are also being moved to the red list.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the Government wanted people to be able to travel - however, he had to balance that desire with “the need to protect us against new variants”.

How many Covid-19 cases does Mexico have?

On Thursday (5 August) Mexico’s Health Ministry reported that the country has 21,569 new confirmed cases of Covid-19.

The Health Ministry also reported 611 deaths. Mexico has recorded a total of 2,901,094 infections, and 242,547 deaths.

The Government has stated that the real number of cases is likely much higher, with separate data published earlier this year indicating that the death toll is at least 60 per cent above the confirmed figure.

What are the travel rules for red list countries?

No-one can travel to the UK if they’ve been in a red list country, unless they are a British or Irish national, or someone with residence rights in the UK.

If you have been to a red list country or territory prior to travelling to England, there are strict rules that you must follow - even if you are fully vaccinated.

Before you travel to England, you must:

  • Take a COVID-19 test and get a negative result during the 3 days before you travel
  • Book a managed quarantine hotel within a 14-day period before arrival. The booking will include your hotel, quarantine transport and travel tests for Covid-19 tests on day two and day eight of quarantine
  • Complete a passenger locator form (PLF) with details of where you will quarantine when you arrive. You must provide a quarantine package invoice number to complete your passenger locator form

Everyone who arrives in England that is coming from a red list country must quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 full days from the point of their arrival - the day of arrival in England is treated as day zero.

You must agree to book and pay for a quarantine package before completing your passenger locator form.

For those making bookings before 11 August and after 4am 12 August, the prices of these packages will vary.

Rate for bookings made on or before 11 August:

  • Rate for one adult in one room for 10 days: £1,750
  • Additional rate for one adult (or child over 11): £650
  • Additional rate for a child aged five to 11: £325

Rate for bookings made on or after 4am on 12 August:

  • Rate for one adult in one room for 10 days: £2,285
  • Additional rate for one adult (or child over 11): £1,430
  • Additional rate for a child aged five to 11: £325

Regarding the price, the Government states: “For those facing significant financial hardship as a result of this charge, there will be an opportunity to apply for a deferred repayment plan when booking. You will be required to pay back your debt to the Government in 12 monthly instalments.”

If you are required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel, you can only arrive in England at certain points of entry, which are:

  • Heathrow Airport
  • Gatwick Airport
  • London City Airport
  • Birmingham Airport
  • Bristol Airport
  • Farnborough Airport
  • Biggin Hill Airport

If you are required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel and do not arrive in England at one of the designated ports of entry, you may face a penalty of up to £10,000 and will be charged for the cost of transportation to the nearest designated port or entry.

Additionally, if you break quarantine rules you could face a penalty of up to £10,000, and if you fail to provide accurate details about the countries you have visited prior to arriving in the UK, you could be fined up to £10,000 and even be imprisoned for up to 10 years.