British vacationers scrambling to get back from Mexico before it goes on the red list on Sunday

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From 4 am on Sunday, people returning to the UK from Mexico will have to stay in isolation in a hotel for 10 days. 

However, the government has been slammed for giving only three days’ notice of the change, with the only direct flight from Mexico City to London before Sunday on sale for a staggering £6,878. 

Around 6,000 Britons are thought to currently be in Mexico, with travel agency boss Paul Charles tweeting: ‘Pity poor #UK travelers in #Mexico – some 5/6,000 who have to somehow get back before hotel quarantine kicks in on Sunday. Certainly not enough seat capacity.’ 

And holidaymakers have revealed how they found out about Mexico going red at the very last minute.

Claire, 30, from south London, said: ‘I had access to the Wifi so I found out in mid-air.

‘I just wanted to grab the tannoy and tell everyone because I could see all these families looking forward to their holiday and it was obvious they didn’t know.

‘It’s crazy the lack of notice. I had no inkling Mexico was about to go on the red list.’

Another tweeted: ‘Landing in Mexico to find out it’s been added to the red list whilst I was up in the air, has got to be one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced.’ 

Father-of-two David Hing, 40, arrived in Mexico with his wife and children aged four and seven on July 31. They were supposed to stay until August 21 – five days before the travel list is looked at again.  

Mr Hing told MailOnline: ‘We knew the risks and while at the moment it seems like a bad dream and is very stressful and I’ve been up all night looking at alternative options, we are just going to try to enjoy the holiday. 

‘It broke my heart when my two little ones said they wanted to stay on holiday and would lend us money if we needed it.

‘The notice period doesn’t really give long enough to make changes especially when it’s hard to get through and talk to anyone at the airlines. 

‘The images of the food and hotels do not seem like they are worth the cost so that’s why we are going to try and fly back somewhere else first. I feel sorry for the people who were already on the flight from the UK and hope they can make alternative arrangements.’

A young couple cut short their honeymoon in Mexico from two weeks to two days, after they discovered the new restrictions upon landing in Mexico early on Thursday morning.

Joe Coward, 29, said: ‘Basically we touched down to find that our two-week honeymoon, which had already been rearranged several times, was going to be a two-day visit. We’ve arranged a flight for tomorrow and will be spending today getting ready to turn right around and go home.’ 

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Mexico is in the grip of the third wave of Covid and on Wednesday reported 20,685 new confirmed cases in the country, the highest daily jump since late January. 

The Ministry of Health ( SSa ) reported that as of August 4 there are already 242,547 confirmed deaths in Mexico from COVID-19, as well as 2,901,094 accumulated cases. In other words, in the last 24 hours, there were 611 deaths and 20,685 new infections, the fourth-highest figure recorded in the entire pandemic and the highest in the third wave.

Those who have received both doses have unrestricted entry – meaning they do not have to quarantine or provide a negative test result

The price of the only direct flight from Mexico City to London before Mexico moves to the red list has soared to a staggering £6,878

holidaymakers have revealed how they found out about Mexico going red at the very last minute
holidaymakers have revealed how they found out about Mexico going red at the very last minute

Another 611 deaths were also reported and the country has recorded a total of 2,901,094 infections and 242,547 deaths.

The government has said the real number of cases is likely significantly higher, and separate data published recently suggested the actual death toll is at least 60% above the confirmed figure.

The decision to place Mexico on the red list also reflects worries about a new variant that originated in Colombia and which has concerned British scientists. 

Passengers arriving from Mexico City at Heathrow Terminal 5 today slammed the new rules.

Leidy Corrales, 35, a dental assistant, who was travelling back to Switzerland from Playa de Carmen in Mexico, said: ‘I’m travelling back to Geneva with my two children Joshua and Carla and my husband.

‘Putting Mexico on the red list is not logical because when you go there, everything is normal, they are taking all the same protections – masks, hand sanitisation and social distancing.

‘The quarantine costs are just unreasonable – I think when people go on holiday, they should just have to do two tests and only quarantine if it’s positive.

‘Mexico is a tourist hotspot and people here like going to hot places, but the government doesn’t want people to go on holiday, they want to control them.

‘It’s like a dictatorship of security in a democracy because they keep changing the rules and no one can afford that.’

Her husband Denys added: ‘We’re so happy to have been able to enjoy our holiday without having to pay for a hotel on the way back, thank God.’

Amy Perez, 39, a marketing director from Putney, south-west London, who has been travelling around Mexico with her family, said: ‘It’s inconvenient and expensive and there seems to be an entire industry surrounding Covid testing.

‘We were on holiday for two weeks and are really chuffed that we don’t have to quarantine for 10 days.

‘We would have been locked up in a hotel with these two little monsters – Maxi, 18 months, and Emilia, who just turned four yesterday.’

Passengers arriving from Mexico City at London's Heathrow Terminal 5 today slammed the new rules, which come into effect on Sunday

Passengers arriving from Mexico City at London’s Heathrow Terminal 5 today slammed the new rules, which come into effect on Sunday

Amy Perez, 39, a marketing director from Putney, south west London, has been travelling around Mexico with her family

Amy Perez, 39, a marketing director from Putney, southwest London, has been travelling around Mexico with her family

Sofia and Gabriella Martinez were among the many passengers to arrive at Terminal 5 at Heathrow today from Mexico

Sofia and Gabriella Martinez were among the many passengers to arrive at Terminal 5 at Heathrow today from Mexico

Leidy Corrales, Denys Corrales, Carla Corrales and Joshua Corrales were also among the arrivals earlier today

Leidy Corrales, Denys Corrales, Carla Corrales and Joshua Corrales were also among the arrivals earlier today

Her husband Jorge said: ‘The government wants people to get vaccinated, but then people don’t see the benefits.

‘It would have made more sense for us to take the fine rather than shell out thousands of pounds, not be able to work and be locked up with our children.’

Alejandro Seama, 42, a filmmaker from London, said: ‘I think it’s terrible and stupid because it seems they just want rich people to be able to travel.

‘Look at my dad, he’s 72, he’s been double vaccinated, he’s absolutely fine, but for some reason, they don’t accept his vaccines here.

‘I had to spend £600 on mandatory Covid tests just to get my parents here.

‘If the rules had already changed, they would not have been able to visit and I would have never left.

‘I had no clue that Mexico was going on the red list, but thank God we came back today.’

Returning from Mexico after the deadline will see Britons face a steep hotel quarantine bill after the government raised the price to ‘reflect increased costs involved’. 

A single person will have to stump up £2,285 from next Thursday during their isolation – while additional adults and teenagers will be charged £1,430 – more than double the current £650 rate.

A single person will have to stump up £2,285 from next Thursday during their isolation – while additional adults and teenagers will be charged £1,430 – more than double the current £650 rate.

The price for children aged five to 12 will remain at £325, while under-fives will continue to stay for free.

It means that, for a family of four with two teenage children, the cost will jump from £3,700 to a staggering £6,575 – a rise of 78 per cent.

Mr Coward said if the couple does not receive a refund from British Airways for their holiday, based near Cancun, they will be ‘several thousand pounds out of pocket’.

He said staying is not an option due to the cost of quarantine hotels – which from August 12 will rise to £2,285 for a solo traveller, plus an extra £1,430 for additional adults sharing a room.

Ayo Faley, a call handler for NHS Test and Trace in London, also landed in Cancun on Thursday morning but she plans to stay for her holiday as planned and pay for quarantine.

She is returning on August 11 so will pay the lower rate of £1,750, but said she is ‘absolutely distraught’.

The 24-year-old said: ‘I only found out (travel restrictions had changed) the minute I was able to connect to wifi at the airport… I went into a state of panic.

‘(I tried) to locate other Brits and see whether they knew and what their next plan of action was… you could see the look of confusion, fear and regret all in their faces.

‘I am absolutely distraught… I’ve decided to just stay and enjoy the time here… I’ll just have to face the consequences when I arrive.’

Ms Faley works from home and had planned to do so on her return from Cancun, but said she will not be able to access her equipment in quarantine.

She added: ‘How are (the Government) planning to help individuals who have found themselves in a situation like this?

‘Leaving the UK thinking their country of destination was safe to then land and find out they better return ASAP or risk being stuck in a hotel for 11 days.’

Aaron, who did not wish to share his second name, is relocating his family to Edinburgh in late August and will now have to pay for them all to quarantine on arrival.

The 43-year-old arrived in Mexico in early July to witness the birth of his son, Aviv, and his wife, who is from Sinaloa, had her UK visa approved on July 28.

‘(Aviv) was due to be born July by C-section, but they brought the date forward, so I arrived in the airport at 3 am and just made it to the hospital before my wife went to surgery,’ Aaron told PA.

Aaron is a self-employed data and audiovisual engineer and said he ‘can’t quantify how much quarantining will cost his business.

‘I have previously taken out a bounce-back loan to keep my business afloat,’ he added.

‘I have no idea why I should have to pay to isolate in a hotel when I’ve had both (Astrazeneca) vaccinations in Edinburgh, proof of vaccination, took a test on my way here and will take one on arrival in Scotland.’

James Dean, 38, from Bournemouth had already spent £8,000 on a fortnight in Cancun with his wife Rebecca and their four children Lilly, 16, Jack, 13, Isabella, nine, and Fred, six.

The office manager told the Mirror: ‘That has just shocked me. I’m gutted, to be honest. 

‘I’m going have to pay for us all to go into quarantine as well. I’m still digesting it. I’m just gobsmacked.’ 

John Soones, 62, from southwest London, was travelling to Mexico with his wife and their 18-year-old daughter.

He said: ‘It’s just incredible. It’s terrible to get no notice that this is likely to happen and no time to change plans.’

Source: infobae.com, dailymail.co.uk

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