UK now has worse COVID rates than vast majority of red list countries

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Photo by: KGC-254/STAR MAX/IPx 2021 8/3/21 Passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport Terminal in London, England, UK. Fully vaccinated travellers from the United States and much of Europe are now able to enter Britain without needing to self-isolate. Boris Johnson received a letter from airlines and tour operators calling to simplify rules and drop the amber travel list.
Passengers arrive at Heathrow airport. (AP)

The UK now has worse rates of new confirmed COVID cases than the vast majority of countries on the red list for travel, according to the latest data.

Of the 63 countries on the red list, Montenegro, Georgia, Mongolia, Cuba and the Seychelles are the only five countries with higher daily new confirmed cases per million people.

The UK's seven day rolling average case rate stands at 489.62 per million people as of 30 August, according to Our World in Data.

This is higher than most red list countries bar Montenegro, which has a rate of 1,003.10 followed by Georgia with 1002.75, Mongolia with 728.34, Cuba with 680.29 and the Seychelles with 551.73.

Read: Map shows full list of updated green, amber and red countries for travel

However, the infection rate in a country is just one of the metrics the government uses to determine whether a country should go on the red list or not.

Others include vaccination numbers, the prevalence of variants and genomic sequencing.

Indeed, little is publicly known about the process the government uses to make decisions on which countries should be added or removed from different travel lists.

Watch: London is 'empty' of tourists because of UK own goal on travel rules, Ryanair boss says

While the UK has higher case rates than many countries on the red list, it also has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.

However, compared to countries on the travel red list, the UK only has the fourth highest share of people to have received at least one dose, according to Our World In Data.

As of 29 August, 70.41% of the UK population has been administered the first vaccine dose, behind Uruguay with 76.25%, Chile with 74.85% and the Maldives with 70.47%.

It comes after more countries were added to the red list following the latest government travel review last week. Montenegro and Thailand moved to the red list at 4am Monday.

Meanwhile, the Azores, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Switzerland were moved to the green list.

Watch: Coronavirus cases are rising - but is it time to panic?

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