The United Kingdom announced on Aug. 26 that it will add Thailand and Montenegro to its COVID-19 red travel list, citing a surge in cases from the two countries.
The UK government said that Thailand and Montenegro will be moved from the amber list to the red list from 4 a.m. local time on Aug. 30.
The surge in cases and the “lower levels of published genomic surveillance” in Thailand and Montenegro could mean that an outbreak of variants “cannot be easily identified before it is imported and seeded across the UK,” the government said.
Travelers from Thailand and Montenegro will need to isolate for 10 days in a government-mandated quarantine facility and to follow testing requirements upon entering the UK.
According to reports, the cost for the quarantine increased to £2,285 ($3,127) on Aug. 12 from the previous £1,750 ($2,395).
UK Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMachon said that although people wanted international travel to open up again, “any loosening of restrictions carries with it risks, particularly from variants that could undermine the progress we have made on vaccines.”
Additionally, the government will also move seven locations to the green list on Aug. 30, citing a low public health risk from these locations.
These locations include Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Switzerland, and the Azores.
Travelers from these locations will not be required to quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status. However, they will be required to take pre-departure and day 2 COVID-19 tests and to complete a passenger locator form.
According to the government, the travel classification changes were based on the latest data and analysis by the Joint Biosecurity Center and wider public health considerations.
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