Furious Brits flying to Mexico find out MID-AIR that the country is being put on the red list with three days notice as cost of a ticket back to UK before deadline soars to £7,000
- Thousands of British holidaymakers are in Mexico days before it goes on red list
- They face a scramble to get back with direct flights soaring as high as £7,000
- Some holidaymakers have revealed how they found out about the red list mid-air
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Furious British holidaymakers flying to Mexico have revealed how they found out that the country was being moved onto the red list mid-air.
From 4am on Sunday, people returning to the UK from Mexico will have to stay in isolation in a hotel for 10 days.
However, the government has been slammed for giving only three days notice of the change, with the only direct flight from Mexico City to London before Sunday on sale for a staggering £6,878.
Travel agency CEO Paul Charles tweeted after the announcement: ‘Pity poor #UK travellers in #Mexico – some 5/6,000 who have to somehow get back before hotel quarantine kicks in on Sunday. Certainly not enough seat capacity.’
And holidaymakers have revealed how they found out about Mexico going red at the very last minute.
Claire, 30, from south London, said: ‘I had access to the Wifi so I found out in mid air.
‘I just wanted to grab the tannoy and tell everyone because I could see all these families looking forward to their holiday and it was obvious they didn’t know.
‘It’s crazy the lack of notice. I had no inkling Mexico was about to go on the red list.’
Another tweeted: ‘Landing in Mexico to find out it’s been added to the red list whilst I was up in the air, has got to be one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced.’
Mexico is in the grip of a third wave of Covid and on Wednesday reported 20,685 new confirmed cases in the country, the highest daily jump since late January.
The price of the only direct flight from Mexico City to London before Mexico moves to the red list has soared to a staggering £6,878
From 4am on Sunday, people returning to the UK from Mexico will have to stay in isolation in a hotel for 10 days
Another 611 deaths were also reported and the country has recorded a total of 2,901,094 infections and 242,547 deaths.
The government has said the real number of cases is likely significantly higher, and separate data published recently suggested the actual death toll is at least 60% above the confirmed figure.
The decision to place Mexico on the red list also reflects worries about a new variant which originated in Colombia and which has concerned British scientists.
Returning from Mexico after the deadline will see Britons face a steep hotel quarantine bill after the government raised the price to ‘reflect increased costs involved’.
A single person will have to stump up £2,285 from next Thursday during their isolation – while additional adults and teenagers will be charged £1,430 – more than double the current £650 rate.
The price for children aged five to 12 will remain at £325, while under-fives will continue to stay for free.
It means that, for a family of four with two teenage children, the cost will jump from £3,700 to a staggering £6,575 – a rise of 78 per cent.
James Dean, 38, from Bournemouth had already spent £8,000 on a fortnight in Cancun with wife Rebecca and their four children Lilly, 16, Jack, 13, Isabella, nine, and Fred, six.
The office manager told the Mirror: ‘That has just shocked me. I’m gutted to be honest.
‘I’m going have to pay for us all to go in to quarantine as well. I’m still digesting it. I’m just gobsmacked.’
John Soones, 62, from south west London, was travelling to Mexico with his wife and their 18 year old daughter.
He said: ‘It’s just incredible. It’s terrible to get no notice that this is likely to happen and no time to change plans.’
In more positive news, it was announced that double-jabbed tourists returning from France will be spared quarantine from Sunday and seven European countries including Germany and Norway were added to the green list of destinations.
Spain has also been spared being given red status – potentially forcing thousands into £2,285-a-stay quarantine hotels – but the Government is urging travellers to take a PCR test before they fly home from the Iberian country.
Tens of thousands of Britons are now expected to head to France for August – although tourism chiefs have warned millions more Frenchmen are staying in the country this summer so there is a lack of accommodation.
There is a particular shortage of sites and hotel rooms in the south of the country, especially near beach resorts.
Austria, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia will all move to the quarantine-free tier at the end of the weekend, in a huge boost for those looking to book a late summer getaway on the continent.
But while there is no quarantine people will still have to take a negative test before returning and a PCR test on day two back in the UK.
Meanwhile, the status of India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will switch from red to amber, meaning arrivals from those countries will no longer have to spend 11 nights at pricey quarantine hotels.
While Spain avoided joining them, those flying back will soon face higher testing costs after ministers urged holidaymakers to take a PCR for the mandatory pre-departure test, rather than the cheaper lateral flow alternatives, ‘as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country’.
With the guidance being advice, rather than law, many travellers may feel entitled to refuse to take the gold-standard test, which can cost as much as £175 per person.
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