Talk has recently turned from overseas travel to lockdown tiers and circuit breakers, but the Government is still making announcements on countries that UK citizens can safely go on holiday to without having to quarantine for 14 days when they return.
The air bridge list is being regularly amended, with decisions being made on a number of factors, including infection rates, deaths and risk levels.
Ahead of the next announcement from the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, which is likely to come on Thursday, we take a look at which countries could be added to the quarantine list sooner rather than later.
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Which countries are at risk?
Italy, Sweden and Germany may be at risk of being removed from the air bridge scheme in the next announcement, according to figures released by the PC Agency travel consultancy and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
The threshold for countries to be removed from the exemption list has been 20 people out of every 100,000 being infected with Covid-19, in a country or on an island, over seven days. Other factors taken into account include a nation’s testing capacity, the number of deaths recorded from Covid-19 and how the virus has transmitted.
According to the latest update, Italy could be most at risk of being removed from the list, with infection rates up by 130 per cent, the PC Agency claims, at a rate of 58.3 over seven days. Sweden’s position also looks tenuous, with a rate of 43.8 over seven days, while Germany’s rate has risen marginally to 34.3.
At the moment, Greece looks to be relatively stable, although slightly above the UK threshold, with a rate of 23.5 over seven days.
However, all of these countries remained above the levels previously deemed to be quarantine-worthy last week, so simply analysing the latest Covid-19 infection rate data is becoming a less accurate way of determining which destinations are likely to be removed, and which are to stay – or indeed, whether the Government will continue with the same air bridge system at all as we edge away from summer and into a winter of further national restrictions and local lockdowns.
When is the next announcement?
Mr Shapps usually posts an announcement at around 5pm on Thursdays, so it is likely the next announcement will come on Thursday 15 October.
On 8 October, he posted on Twitter: “We are adding Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Santorini and Zakynthos to the #TravelCorridor list this week.
“From 4am Saturday 10 Oct, if you arrive from those Greek islands, you will no longer need to self-isolate.
“We are not removing any countries.”
What happens if a country is added to the quarantine list?
Those returning to the UK after visiting or transiting through a country not on the air bridge list, will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Travellers who do not quarantine themselves after visiting a country that has been removed from the safe list could face a penalty of up to £10,000 in England.
People will also need to fill in a Government form before travelling to any country, including those not on the quarantine list. They will have to provide their personal and travel details, which the Government can later use to check that people are self-isolating.
Failure to fill in the form can result in a fine of £100 – or more for repeat offences.
Which countries remain on the air bridge list?
The Government’s list of travel corridors for people returning to England currently includes the following, but the list is being constantly updated so please check the Government’s website for the latest travel information.
At the time of writing, the following countries remain in the air bridge:
Source : https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/travel/quarantine-review-next-when-update-countires-uk-travel-corridor-list-changes-latest-718973