Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic have been removed from the government’s quarantine safe list, transport secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed.
Those returning after 4am on Saturday will be required to self-isolate for 14 days after assessment of a range of criteria including Covid-19 infection rates per 100,000 residents.
In a series of tweets, Shapps also confirmed that Cuba would now be added to the safe list.
He said: “Data shows we need to remove the Czech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland from our list of #Coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN. If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.”
He added: “Data also shows we can now add Cuba to those countries INCLUDED in Travel Corridors. As with all air bridge countries, please be aware that things can (and do sometimes) change quickly. Only travel if you are content to unexpectedly 14-day quarantine on return.”
Switzerland, Jamaica and Czech Republic are the latest countries to be removed from the list as part of the government’s weekly review. Last week, Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago were removed from the list while Portugal was added after being deemed safe to visit.
Previous countries to be removed include France, Malta and Spain – a move which halted momentum following the resumption of international travel in July.
An Abta spokesperson said: “Today’s addition of the Czech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland to the government’s quarantine list, and the FCO 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 government’s 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.”
The removal of Switzerland was widely predicted after Scotland decided to remove the country from its safe list last week, while infection rates had also taken Jamaica and the Czech Republic above the government’s threshhold of 20 per 100,000 residents.
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