Britons on holiday in Mexico were scrambling to find a return flight before Sunday after the Central American country was upgraded to red status in the latest review of the traffic light system.
Airline and travel shares perked up a little on the news, though analysts said that except for Mexico the changes had been well flagged.
Red list status means that visitors returning to the UK have to quarantine in a government-run hotel for ten days at a cost of GBP1,750.
Some holidaymakers only found out about the change in status on arriving in Mexico today and have said they had spent today looking for a flight back to the UK.
In addition to Mexico, Georgia and French territories of La Reunion and Mayotte were also upgraded to red.
Going the other way were India, Bahrain, Qatar and UAE, which were downgraded to red from amber. France was also downgraded to amber from Amber Plus, also meaning that people who had two vaccine jabs don’t have to self-isolate on return to the UK.
Additions to the Green List, which means there is no requirement to quarantine, are Austria, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Liberum said: “Although the direction of travel is generally one of relaxation of restrictions, these changes offer little material help to airlines and come relatively late in the peak travel season.”
Shares in IAG, owner of British Airways rose 1% to 172.1p, easyJet PLC rose 0.7% to 832.6p and Ryanair added 1.2% to EUR16.74.