Government adds new tourism hotspots to quarantine list | News


People arriving in England from Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Jamaica from tomorrow will be expected to quarantine after the countries became the latest to be removed from the safe list.

Anybody touching down from 04:00 on Saturday morning will need to self-isolate for two weeks.

The trio join France and Spain in being declared unsafe for travel, though Portugal was recently reopened to British holidaymakers.

Data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England has indicated a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the newly added countries, leading to ministers removing them from the current list of travel corridors.

There has been a consistent increase in the weekly incidence rate of Covid-19 in Switzerland over the past four weeks, with a 19 per cent increase in weekly cases per 100,000, from 18.5 on the August 20th to 22 on the August 27th.

Data shows that there has been a consistent increase in newly reported cases in the Czech Republic over the past three weeks, with a 25 per cent increase from 1,723 between August 14th-20th to 2,153 between August 21st-27th.

Figures from Jamaica show that the weekly incidence cases per 100,000 has increased from 4.3 on August 20th to 21 on August 27th.

This equates to a 382 per cent increase.

A statement from the department of transport explained: “Infections from Covid-19 are on the rise across Europe.

“The government has made consistently clear it will take decisive action if necessary to contain the virus, which includes removing countries from the travel corridors list rapidly, if the public health risk of people returning from a particular country without self-isolating becomes too high.

“This means holidaymakers may find they need to self-isolate on return to the UK and are advised to consider the implications of self-isolation on them and their families before making travel plans.”

Cuba has, however, been added to the travel corridor list following a decrease in confirmed cases of coronavirus.

From tomorrow passengers arriving to England from the Caribbean island will no longer need to self-isolate so long as they have not been in or transited through any other non-exempt countries in the 14-days preceding their arrival.

An ABTA spokesperson called on the government to focus its approach to quarantine.

“The addition of the Czech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland to the quarantine list, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advisories against all but essential travel to those countries, will have upset the travel plans of many customers, and added to the difficulties of their travel organisers.

“As long as quarantine remains the principal strategy in the containment of Covid-19, the travel industry will continue to suffer.

“Given the rapid change in infection rates in different areas, it is vital the government moves as quickly as possible to assess risk on a regionalised, not whole-country basis.

“Only by doing this will we be able to minimise the impact on consumer confidence to book and to travel, and minimise the impact on an industry that has already seen 90,000 livelihoods  affected.”

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