The list of countries from which Britons have to quarantine for 14 days after returning has changed again.
Here is everything you need to know about the latest coronavirus “travel corridor” developments.
Which countries are the latest to have been removed from the quarantine exemption list?
On Thursday, transport secretary Grant Shapps announced travellers arriving in the UK after 4am on Saturday (29 August) from Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic will have to quarantine for 14 days.
It comes after Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago were also removed from the exemption list on 22 August.
Other places to have been removed in recent weeks include: Aruba; France; Malta; Monaco; the Netherlands; Turks and Caicos Islands; Andorra; The Bahamas; Belgium; Luxembourg; and Spain.
Which countries are the latest to have been added to the quarantine exemption list?
At the same time as removing Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic, Shapps added Cuba to the list for the first time.
It follows Portugal, Brunei and Malaysia, which were also added to the “safe list” earlier this month: meaning people don’t have to quarantine when they arrive in the UK.
Which other countries are on the quarantine exemption list?
As of 4am on Saturday (29 August), people arriving in England from the following countries and territories do not have to quarantine for 14 days:
Akrotiri and Dhekelia; Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; Barbados; Bermuda; Bonaire; St Eustatius and Saba; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory; British Virgin Islands; Brunei; Cayman Islands; the Channel Islands; Cuba; Curaçao; Cyprus; Denmark; Dominica; Estonia; Falkland Islands; Faroe Islands; Fiji; Finland; French Polynesia; Gibraltar; Germany; Greece; Greenland; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Hong Kong; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; the Isle of Man; Italy; Japan; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Macao (Macau); Malaysia; Mauritius; Montserrat; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Norway; Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands; Poland; Portugal; Reunion; San Marino; Seychelles; Slovakia; Slovenia; South Korea; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; St Barthélemy; St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Pierre and Miquelon; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Taiwan; Turkey; Vatican City State; Vietnam.
Why are countries removed from the quarantine exemption list?
Following the removal of Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic on Thursday, Shapps said: “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 over seven days but they take into account a wide range of factors: including level, rate and speed of change in confirmed cases.”
What does it mean for holidaymakers – can I still travel to countries not on the exemption list?
Yes, you can, though the 14-day quarantine on your return might have consequences for your work.
The government has reminded people that travelling abroad at the moment comes with a risk, warning circumstances can change quickly.
Shapps, who had to quarantine for 14 days after a holiday in Spain, had previously warned: “As with all air bridge countries, please be aware that things can change quickly.
“Only travel if you are content to unexpectedly 14-day quarantine if required (I speak from experience!).”
What about travel insurance?
Following Thursday’s announcement, Patrick Ikhena, head of travel insurance at comparethemarket.com, warned: “The restrictions apply to the whole country, even those areas with low infection rates, and as a result this unfortunately means that most travel insurance policies will no longer provide cover to Switzerland, Jamaica and Czech Republic.”
He added a decision to cancel a trip to avoid the mandatory quarantine rules would be considered a “disinclination to travel” and many policies would be unlikely to pay out.