Couple’s Mexican honeymoon ‘ruined’ as country joins red list

Joe Coward has cut their trip from two weeks to two days to avoid the need to pay thousands to quarantine in a hotel on their return to the UK.

Plane in sky
Plane in sky

A young couple have cut short their honeymoon in Mexico from two weeks to two days, as holidaymakers are hit by the UK’s latest travel restrictions.

Travellers from Mexico will have to pay thousands of pounds for a quarantine hotel when arriving in the UK from 4am on Sunday, after the country was moved to the red list.

Joe Coward, 29, discovered the new restrictions after landing in Mexico early on Thursday morning and had to quickly book a return flight to London to avoid the cost.

The student from London told the PA news agency: “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.

“We feel extremely angry at the Government’s incompetent handling of international travel rules during this crisis, and incredibly sad and frustrated that the time that should’ve been spent enjoying being newlyweds has been ruined.”

Mr Coward said if the couple do 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”.

Ayo Faley
Ayo Faley touched down in Cancun on Thursday and will have to pay almost £2,000 to quarantine on her return to the UK (Ayo Faley/PA)

The 24-year-old told PA: “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 3am and just made it to the hospital before my wife went to surgery,” Aaron told PA.

Aaron, pictured with his son Aviv, is moving his family from Mexico to Edinburgh in August (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.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps claimed on Thursday the traffic light system allows holidaymakers to travel abroad without “looking over their shoulders” in fear of being caught out by changing rules.

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