A NUMBER of countries could be added to the UK's "red list" later today as MPS are to discuss the additions during a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19.
The new restrictions would mean a full travel ban to the countries added to the list, as well as a mandatory hotel quarantine.
Current rules require anyone returning from a "red list" country to pay £1,750 to isolate for 10 days at a government-mandated hotel.
The rules affect 35 countries which includes the UAE, South American and nations in South Africa.
There are four countries which would be at risk, according to the Telegraph, of being added to the list this week.
Rising cases are a factor as well as a prevalence of variants in the country, particularly the South African variant which is feared to make vaccines 30 per cent less effective.
The South African variant, named 501YV2, is also feared to be at least 50 per cent more contagious.
France is one of the few countries which has raised concerns in recent weeks and is one of the most likely to be put on the red list.
The country is currently going through a third Covid wave with as many as 45,000 new daily cases last week.
This has raised fears of transmitting the South African variant to the UK, which according to French government data makes up five per cent of new infections along with the Brazil strain – threatening the success of the UK rollout.
The vaccine rollout is also much further behind the UK's 44 per cent of the population, with just 11 per cent given the first jab in France.
Sixteen regions are already in lockdown, including Paris, and the country is threatening further restrictions.
Here are the other countries which could be added later today.
Full list of red list travel ban countries
- Cape Verde
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- French Guiana
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Austria is another country in Europe which is seeing an outbreak in new Covid cases, including the South African strain.
The Swaz district, in the Austrian lander of Tyrol, is being given extra vaccines after being heavily affected by the variant.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz previously said that Tyrol is "one of the biggest outbreaks of the South African variant in Europe."
Mexico has remained open to tourists with many US travellers heading there on spring break in recent weeks.
However, the country is one of the few not on the high risk list in South America.
The death toll in Mexico has leapt by 60 per cent after it was revised, making it the second highest in the world after the US.
Argentina has already halted flights to and from the country.
A source working for the British High Commission in Kenya told the Telegraph that the country is likely to be added to the rest list.
Kenya is facing a third wave with new lockdowns in place including at the capital Nairobi, after more than 2,000 new daily cases last week, the highest since the pandemic began.
The country has also kept its borders open with Tanzania who are not documenting the majority of their Covid cases.
Earlier this month, Portugal and Mauritius were removed from the red list while Ethiopia, Oman, Qatar and Somalia.
Foreign holidays could be banned until August in order to prevent new Covid variants coming in although this will be confirmed next month.
A new law introduced this week fines anyone who leaves England before June 30 without a "good reason" £5,000.
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