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Thailand moved to UK's red list

Thailand has become a trickier destination for British holidaymakers now it's on the red list.

The British government has announced that Thailand is to be added to its so-called ‘red list’. This means that arrivals into the UK from the Southeast Asian destination will have to self-isolate in a government designated hotel for ten days.

The decision was made due to high infection rates combined with lower levels of published genomic surveillance. According to the UK government, this means that travel from Thailand poses a higher risk to UK public health. Montenegro will also join Thailand on the red list following a sharp rise in cases.

Turkey had been lobbying hard in the lead-up to today’s announcement to be downgraded from the red list to the amber list, but to no avail.

In more positive news, the Azores, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Lithuania were downgraded to the green list, which means there will be no quarantine restrictions from these places.

The UK travel industry was left unimpressed with this most recent travel announcement, with British Airways’ boss Sean Doyle lamenting the fact that despite a world-leading vaccination programme, the UK’s economic recovery is trailing that of Europe.

“We urgently need to end the uncertainty caused by the constant threat of changes to countries’ traffic light status,” he said. “Our ‘green’ list is much smaller than that of the US and EU, despite no new variants being transported into the UK.”

However, Canada moving to the green list will be a boost for transatlantic travel as Canada is planning to reopen to fully vaccinated British travellers from September 7.

Covid data for all countries is kept under constant review by the UK government. Changes to the traffic light system are announced every fortnight. Today's moves will come into effect from 4am on Monday, August 30.

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