Thailand, Georgia and Iran predicted to move to UK government’s travel red list

·2-min read
Phuket’s beaches have been deserted since the pandemic decimated Thailand’s travel sector  (AP)
Phuket’s beaches have been deserted since the pandemic decimated Thailand’s travel sector (AP)

Thailand, Georgia and Iran are likely candidates to be moved to the UK government’s red list of “high risk” countries at the upcoming review of international travel rules, according to experts.

The next announcement is expected to take place on 5 August as part of the Department for Transport’s tri-weekly update of the travel traffic light lists.  

Independent data expert Tim White flagged the three destinations as potential red list additions due to soaring Covid-19 infections, with Thailand and Iran both surpassing their previous records for total new daily cases. 

There are already 60 countries on the red list, with government guidance stating that people “should not travel to red list countries or territories”. 

Only British or Irish nationals, or people with residence rights in the UK, are allowed to enter the UK from a red list country. 

Doing so triggers a mandatory 10-day (11-night) hotel quarantine at a cost of £1,750 per person for those travelling alone, including room, board and testing. 

Incoming travellers over the age of 10 from these countries must also complete a Covid-19 test up to three days before departure. 

Almost 40 million international tourists travelled to Thailand in 2019, contributing around 20 per cent to the Southeast Asian nation’s GDP. 

The market has been decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic, however, with most travellers to Thailand, including Brits, currently having to complete two weeks’ state quarantine. 

The exceptions to this rule are vaccinated visitors from a number of countries, who are now able to spend up to 45 days visa-free on the islands of Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao. 

These resort islands reopened last month in an attempt to jump start the Thai tourist sector and repair the damage caused by Covid-19 to the economy. British travellers are among those eligible to travel without quarantine to the islands. 

Thailand will reopen fully to international travellers on 14 October, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha announced last month.

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