When we started to dare to think about the future of travel this summer, we were all hoping we wouldn’t go back to the yo-yo situation last summer with travel corridors. Sadly it looks like this will be the case with the red list.
There is some good news with the red list at least. Portugal including the Azores and Madeira will come off the list from 4am Friday 19 March.
Also off the red list is Mauritius, making a good substitute for those that fancied the Seychelles but are concerned about its red list status.
Sadly as well as countries coming off the red list quite a few were added, one of which has major repercussions. From 4am Friday 19 March all direct flights from Qatar will be banned from the UK, effectively stopping all Qatar Airways passenger flights to England (they could fly in empty or with cargo). Qatar will be added to the red list from this Friday, which means even if you only transit Doha, you will be classed as having visited a red list country.
“Visitors who have been in or transited through Qatar in the previous 10 days cannot enter England. British and Irish nationals and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from Qatar will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”
Then you will be forced to spend £1750 on hotel quarantine for 10 days.
Also added to the red list from Friday will be Oman, Somalia and Ethiopia. Direct flights from Oman and Ethiopia will also be banned from the UK.
The red list is being reviewed regularly so we can only hope that by the time we can legally travel which is expected to be mid-May, Qatar comes back off the list. Qatar’s cases are currently rising and at 117/100,000 and only 6% of the population are vaccinated. Hopefully, as vaccination ramps up, the cases will go down again.
You can find the full red list and details instructions about hotel quarantine here.