Alongside transport secretary Grant Shapps’ announcement that travellers from Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra will have to self-isolate from Saturday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its travel advice to warn against all but essential trips to the three countries.
Brunei and Malaysia have been added to the government’s travel corridor list, following a decrease in confirmed cases of coronavirus, meaning arrivals from these countries no longer need to quarantine.
Figures released on Thursday show Belgium has suffered a consistent increase in cases in recent weeks, rising to 27.8 new cases per 100,000 people.
This towers over the UK’s latest rate of 8.4 per 100,000, and is higher than Spain’s 27.4 level around the time when the UK introduced travel restrictions there.
Belgium’s prime minister, Sophie Wilmes, was last week forced to put a halt to the nation’s Covid-19 exit plan by introducing drastic new social distancing measures in the hope of avoiding a new national lockdown.
Contacts outside every household were limited to the same five people for a month, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
In Andorra, new cases per week have increased five-fold since mid-July, while in the Bahamas the weekly case rate peaked at 78.6 last week, up from 3.1 in the middle of last month.
The UK’s move to add Spain onto the quarantine list on 26 July sparked a diplomatic row with the nation and caught out holidaymakers who had already flown over, including Shapps himself.
It also angered transport bosses who have called for increased testing to reduce the isolation period.
Luxembourg was added to the UK’s red list on 31 July.
Shapps said he “cannot rule out” other countries being included on the list, as officials keep overseas infection rates under close observation.
The Foreign Office says it keeps its own travel advice “under constant review”.