The US and Spain could be added to the red list of countries later this week (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The United States and Spain could be added to the ‘red list’ of countries as officials weigh up the risk of new Covid variants entering the UK.
If ministers decide to add both countries later this week, travellers will be forced to quarantine in a hotel upon arrival for at least 11 nights.
It comes after analysis by the World Health Organisation found the highly-infectious South African and Brazilian variants in dozens of countries not on the Government’s high-risk list.
They included Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Greece, Japan, Kenya, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US.
Travellers from the US and Spain are currently allowed to quarantine at home without having to pay £1,750 to stay in one of the Government’s 16 approved hotels.
But this could all change following local transmission of the new variants in both countries, and their location beside South America and Portugal, which are under UK travel bans.
A Government source told the Telegraph: ‘The US and Spain are on the list so it means some of the bigger markets will be considered by officials as part of the discussions before being put to ministers.
‘It will be based on evidence from the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC).’
International passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport (Picture: Mark Thomas/Rex)
A Department for Transport spokesman said: ‘Our priority has always been protecting the health of the UK public, and we must now focus on ensuring the success of our vaccination programme.
‘We will therefore continue taking action to lower the chances of new variants entering the UK.’
It comes after passengers returning from ‘red list’ countries told how they were forced to isolate in a London hotel because there is no approved accommodation in Manchester.
Midwife Clare Davis, 44, was flying back from the United Arab Emirates after her mother, Joan, passed away in Manchester on Saturday.
A person holds up a sign at their room window expressing their frustration at not being able to quarantine at home (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Clare had to rebook her flight after finding she could not fly directly to Manchester Airport, and will now have to spend 10 days in a hotel near Heathrow.
She told Metro.co.uk: ‘It’s inhumane, because to grieve is one thing, but to grieve in an isolated hotel room away from your family where I’ve got no control over my mum’s final arrangements is another.
‘I don’t know what will happen with seeing my mum one last time or with the funeral arrangements. I’m just fighting to get to the end of it.’
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