UK Adds More Countries to its Quarantine List

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Travelers arriving from Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra to the UK will now have to quarantine for 14 days.

On Saturday, these changes came into action. Whereas in Wales this rule was followed at midnight on Thursday, said the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

The UK had to change the quarantine rule for visitors coming from Spain and Luxembourg. As there was a spike in new cases in these countries.

The Foreign Office is also warning against “all but essential travel” to the three countries.

No Quarantine Countries 

However, visitors coming from Brunei and Malaysia in England and Wales will not have to quarantine for 14 days. As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases are decreasing.

The transport secretary has previously said he “cannot rule out” other countries on the list as the travel advice is still under review.

People who fail to follow the quarantine rule will be paying a fine up to £1,000 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. However, people returning to Scotland will be paying a fine of £480, with fines up to £5,000 for persistent offenders.

Up to 1.8 million British nationals visit Belgium every year, while 150,000 visit Andorra. The Bahamas, meanwhile, saw more than 36,000 visits from the UK in 2018.

Belgium has recorded a rate of 49.2 new cases per 100,000 people, above the UK’s latest rate of 14.3. For comparison, Spain’s rate was 27.4 around the time it was removed from the UK’s travel corridor list.

However, Belgium last week implemented new restrictions. In which the people can meet only the same five people outside their house in a month.

Meanwhile, France which is Belgium’s neighbour country is also seeing a surge in cases.

Mr. Shapps tweeted, “Data shows we need to remove Andorra, Belgium, and the Bahamas from our list of [coronavirus] travel corridors in order 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.”

Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the governments of all four UK nations agreed to the changes “based on a shared understanding of the data”.

“Imposing quarantine requirements on those arriving from another country is not a decision made lightly – but suppressing the virus and protecting public health remains our priority,” he said.

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