Europe

Three more countries added to UK's 14-day quarantine list

Passengers arriving in the UK from Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic will have to self-isolate for 14 days after the nations were added to the quarantine list.

The rules will come into effect across all three countries from 4am on Saturday, August 29, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

Cuba has also been taken off the list, meaning travellers will not have to self-isolate when they land in the UK. However, Shapps warned that countries exempt from quarantine could ‘change quickly’.

In a statement, he added: ‘Quarantining on return from a non-travel corridor country is a legal requirement and you commit a criminal offence if you break that quarantine. Fines, as well as a criminal record can result.

‘The decision on whether to add or remove a country is carefully made after research from the Joint Biosecurity Centre. A lead indicator is 20 cases per 100,000 people over seven days, but they take into account a wide range of factors, including the level, rate and speed of change in confirmed cases.’

The news will no doubt see thousands of British travellers scramble to make it back to the UK before the new restrictions are implemented.


Last week saw tourists race home from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago after they were added to the list, with the rules similarly coming into effect on Saturday 4am.

In July, Shapps was forced to quarantine for 14 days himself, after being caught on holiday in Spain as UK restrictions changed.

The Transport Secretary cut his holiday short, but arrived back in the UK after the deadline. He said at the time: ‘I’m desperately sad and sorry for people who have lost their holidays.

‘I decided I needed to come home early and begin my 14 days quarantine just to make sure that I can get on with my job.’

The constant shifting of countries between the quarantine and exemption lists has been a source of conflict between the government and travel industry, with passenger rates already significantly lower than August 2019.

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