United Kingdom

Denmark, Iceland and Slovakia added to travel quarantine 'red list'

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced this evening that Denmark is one of four countries being added to the Government's travel quarantine 'red list' this weekend.  

Restrictions are also being reimposed on arrivals from Iceland, Slovakia and the Caribbean island of Curacao after they all suffered an increase in coronavirus cases.

It means travellers returning from those destinations to England will face 14 days in quarantine when they get back. 

The new rules will come into force at 4am on Saturday morning. 

Mr Shapps also said that no countries are being removed from the 'red list' this week.  

The devolved administrations often update their own lists following the UK Government’s announcement of its weekly changes for England.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today announced Denmark, Slovakia, Iceland and Curacao are being added to the Government's travel quarantine 'red list'

Mr Shapps reminded travellers that they are legally required to fill out a 'Passenger Locator Form' when they return to England. 

Announcing the changes, Mr Shapps tweeted: 'Data shows we need to remove DENMARK, SLOVAKIA, ICELAND, and CURACAO from the Travel Corridor list. 

'If you arrive in the UK from these destinations after 4am this Saturday, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

'We will not be adding any destinations to the Travel Corridor list this week. 

'Remember: You MUST complete a Passenger Locator Form by law if you enter the UK. 

'This protects public health and ensures those who need to are complying with self-isolation rules.' 

The UK Government currently uses a threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 when it makes decisions on whether to add or remove countries from its quarantine list.  

Downing Street remains under intense pressure to change the UK's travel quarantine rules amid growing fears for the future of the aviation and travel industries. 

Ministers have faced calls for months to replace the current 14 day self-isolation restrictions for people returning to the UK from high risk countries with a more nuanced system of airport testing. 

Advocates believe testing on arrival could open the door to significantly reducing the two week quarantine period to potentially less than seven days. 

A double testing approach would see travellers tested on arrival and then told to self-isolate for something like five days when they would then be tested for a second time. 

Two negative tests would be enough to allow people to end their period in quarantine and return to normal life. 

However, ministers have been reluctant to approve airport testing because of concerns that the approach could fail to identify some people who have the virus. 

This is because of the amount of time it can take for the virus to be detectable after the moment of infection. 

But many MPs believe the current blanket approach to travel quarantine cannot continue for much longer because of the damage it is doing to the aviation sector. 

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