Politics

Brexit shock: EU to use coronavirus crisis to BAN Brits abroad in top secret travel plans

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Britons could be isolated from part of the continent if EU countries decide to ban UK arrivals in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. The European Commission and member states held a meeting to debate whether a colour system of red to green codes should be implemented in participating countries to represent the risk of coronavirus.

The standardised method would also indicate the infection rate thresholds at which a local lockdown would be brought into force.

However, the UK is not included in the decision-making as it will stop being an EU member state on December 31, when the Brexit transition period comes to an end.

Once the UK has left the Customs Union and Single Market at the end of the year, it will be treated as a non-EU country.

According to the Daily Telegraph, a Commission spokesman yesterday said: “European challenges require European coordination.

He added that the idea was “welcomed” by national diplomats.

The EU has stopped all non-essential travel to the bloc from non-EU countries.

Eleven nations have been excluded from the ban including Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

China will be taken off the bans list too if it lifts a similar restriction.

The EU has urged member states to allow arrivals from other member countries, even if they have high-risk zones.

It has, however, advised that travellers arriving from high-risk areas be tested for the virus or enter a mandatory quarantine.

It comes after a mandatory quarantine was announced for all arrivals in the UK from seven Greek islands.

Tens of thousands of British tourists have rushed back home as the Government introduced its latest U-turn.

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Monday that Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos are being added back on the compulsory quarantine list.

The measure has been effective since 4am last night following a surge in coronavirus infections.

As a result of the sudden change in rules travellers have reported considerable price surges for their return journeys.

Some even reported paying three times more than they planned for their tickets back to the UK.

Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon criticised the Government’s response to the pandemic.

Mr McMahon described its handling of the crisis as “chaotic”.

He said: “The Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been nothing short of chaotic.

“At almost every turn, it lacked a clear strategy and this failure has been acutely felt in aviation.

“For months, even when the virus was at its peak, millions of passengers were coming from all over the world without any restrictions placed upon them at all.

“By the time restrictions were introduced, we were one of only a handful of countries in the world who up to that point had failed to take action in bringing restrictions in place.”

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