What are the latest changes to the UK’s travel quarantine list?

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18:53pm, Thu 15 Oct 2020
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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced further changes to the Government’s travel quarantine exemption list, removing three countries and adding one.

Here is a guide to how the latest update will affect travellers:

– Which countries are being removed from the quarantine exemption list?

Italy, San Marino and Vatican City State are being taken off the Government’s travel corridor list.

This means travellers arriving in the UK from these places after 4am on Sunday will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

San Marino, one of the world’s smallest countries, is landlocked within the north east of Italy.

Vatican City State, home of the Catholic Pope, lies within Italy’s capital, Rome.

– Why are these countries coming off the exemption list?

The Department for Transport (DfT) said ministers made the decision after data indicated that weekly coronavirus cases and positive tests are increasing in Italy.

The country recorded its highest daily number of coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with 7,332, bringing its seven-day rate of cases per 100,000 people to 64.

A rate of 20 is the threshold above which the Government considers triggering quarantine conditions.

By comparison, the UK’s case rate currently stands at 166.

– Has anywhere been added to the travel corridor list?

Yes, the Greek island of Crete will be added to the exemption list for people returning to England.

The DfT said the risk to public health from those arriving from the island “has decreased to an acceptable level”.

It means that from 4am on Sunday, passengers arriving in England from Crete will no longer need to self-isolate, provided they have not been in or transited through any other non-exempt countries in the 14 days prior to their arrival.

– I’ve got a holiday booked to a country that is not on the travel corridorlist, what should I do?

The FCDO advises against non-essential international travel at this time, except to certain countries and territories listed on its website that are deemed as “not posing an unacceptably high risk to British travellers”.

However, anyone travelling to somewhere exempt from the non-essential travel advice may still need to self-isolate on their return to the UK if the country is not also on the travel corridors list.

Those who decide to travel to a country after a quarantine rule has come into force will have to self-isolate for two weeks on their return.

The FCDO says travellers should keep up to date with the latest travel advice, know the risks of heading to other countries, and be aware of their local entry rules and measures.

– What happens if I do not quarantine after returning from a country not on the travel corridor list?

Penalties for those breaching the self-isolation rules have increased from £1,000 for a first offence up to £10,000 for subsequent offences.

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