As many as 19 European countries are still exempt from the UK's quarantine rules.

The new list means that travellers returning from them will not have to self isolate for 14 days when they arrive back in the UK.

This is despite Europe as a continent seeing a huge surge in coronavirus cases.

In the latest government announcement yesterday, the Foreign Office removed France and the Netherlands from its safe list but the likes of Greece and Germany remain, despite major spikes.

Some of these places have, however, introduced restrictions to prevent the further spread of covid, so holiday's to these places may look a bit different to previous years.

On Wednesday Greece reported 262 new cases, its highest daily tally since the start of the pandemic, reports the Mirror.

Authorities in the Mediterranean country have introduced new measures as a result of the increase in recent weeks, including a curfew for restaurants and bars.

The full list of 19 countries is:

Arrivals from multiple EU and Balkan nations also have restrictions.

Germany, meanwhile, recorded its biggest daily increase in cases in more than three months on Wednesday with 1,200.

On the same day, France had 2,524 new cases in 24 hours, the highest increase since May when lockdown was lifted.

Lockdown announcement Aug 13

The removal of France came after Boris Johnson warned ministers would be "absolutely ruthless" in deciding on whether to impose the self-isolation requirement.

The Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos and Aruba have also been added to the quarantine list from 4am on Saturday.

The decision to add France will cause dismay for thousands of British holidaymakers currently in the country.

It was made in response to the spread of the virus, with the latest 14-day cumulative figures showing 32.1 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people in France, compared with 18.5 in the UK.

The move will also come as a blow to the French tourism industry which relies heavily on visitors from the UK.

Meanwhile France's secretary of state for European affairs Clement Beaune said the UK decision would lead to "reciprocal measures" across the Channel.

With Spain already on the quarantine list, it now means that holidaymakers returning to the UK from the two most popular overseas destinations must now isolate for 14 days.

The timing is set to trigger a race for Channel ferry ports, airports and the Eurotunnel as thousands of desperate tourists try to avoid self-isolation.