Newlywed couple forced to return from £7k honeymoon due to new Covid strain

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New Covid regulations have ruined one couple's honeymoon after their destination was added to the UK red travel list while they were in the air.

Cat and Grant Norton spent £7,000 on their post-wedding holiday to South Africa – which has just been added to the list by the UK Government due to a new Coronavirus variant of concern.

It means that, from Sunday, 4am, anyone returning back to the UK will have to isolate for 10 days.

Mr Norton is originally from South Africa, but the couple live in Edinburgh together.

Having landed in South Africa this morning, they now have to get the earliest flight back to the UK next week, where they'll have to fork out another £3,700 for a 10 day stay in a quarantine hotel.

They didn't even get to enjoy one day of peace in the country, as they turned their phones back on after the flight to be greeted with a flood of messages from friends and family telling them of the country's new travel status.

Mrs Norton claims that the couple were not told about the change in travel restrictions before, during or after the flight.
Having gone to the Cape Town International Airport travel desk for help, she was told all flights back to the UK are cancelled until further notice.

She said: “We turned our phones on when we landed on a million messages on WhatsApp from family and friends saying South Africa had been placed on the red list.

“We have no plan, we are trying to get home, but we have to do a quarantine hotel.

“Grant's family (who live out in South Africa) wasn't able to make the wedding so this was our chance to see them – I have been crying basically since I got here.

“British Airways have told us that earliest we can get home is December 3, and we need to get home as soon as possible because I work for the NHS.

“We cannot get back to Scotland by 4am Sunday, which is their ruling to avoid quarantine.”

Government alarm bells started ringing last night, when Health Minister Sajid Javid confirmed that six African countries were being added to the Red travel list, due to the dangerousness of the new variant – known as the “nu” variant.

Anyone coming from South Africa and its surrounding countries Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe will be forced to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.

There are worries that the new variant is more transmissible and that the current vaccines are less effective in fighting it.

Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “Our scientists are deeply concerned about this variant.

“This is a warning that the pandemic is far from over.”

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  • British Airways
  • NHS
  • Family
  • Coronavirus

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