TURKEY is the latest destination to face quarantine restrictions, with an estimated 10,000 Brits on holiday in the country now forced to self-isolate for two weeks when they return.
However, there are still a number of destinations which remain on the UK’s air bridge list announced, which deem the countries safe for travel.
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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) published a list of destinations that are exempt from self-isolating due to coronavirus on July 3, followed by the ending of the advisory against all non-essential travel on July 10.
The list is subject to change at short-notice however, first seen over the weekend of July 25/26 when Spain was suddenly struck off, leaving absolute chaos among tourists who were out there or had planned a trip.
Some countries are making improvements, however – on July 28, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and St Vincent and the Grenadines were added to the safe list, along with Singapore and Thailand last month.
It is worth noting that some of the “safe” countries which don’t require a UK quarantine still have their own travel restrictions in place for British tourists.
Full list of countries without UK quarantine
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Channel Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Greece (except the islands of Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos – if you arrive in England from any of these islands you will need to self-isolate)
- Hong Kong
- Isle of Man
- Macao (Macau)
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
- San Marino
- 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
- Vatican City State
Ministers are now considering a new testing method for travellers which would cut isolation times, with airport-testing hoping to be given the go-ahead in the next few days.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay confirmed that decisions regarding new measures which include airport swabbing will be made in the “coming days”.
He continued: “So, if we look, for example, at some of the German states, which are using testing to then release earlier from some of the restrictions.”
In Germany, the tests on arrival are free at the majority of airports, with test results within 48 hours, but passengers can pay for private tests with faster results within a few hours.
The travel industry has been calling for airport testing to be implemented, with the quarantine restrictions badly affecting airlines and airports.
Heathrow Airport’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye previously said the Prime Minister is hoping for testing trials on passengers to start by mid-October.
Changes to the quarantine rules were enforced last month, with regional restrictions instead of country-wide ones – currently in place for Portugal and Greece.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps previously explained: “Through the use of enhanced data we will now be able to pinpoint risk in some of the most popular islands, providing increased flexibility to add or remove them — distinct from the mainland — as infection rates change.
“This development will help boost the UK’s travel industry while continuing to maintain maximum protection to public health, keeping the travelling public safe.”
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It follows reports that thousands of Brits are ignoring the current 14-day isolation rule after returning from holiday.
The Met Police have received more than 1,000 tips to carry out quarantine checks to make sure holidaymakers are sticking to their two week isolation.
London cops said they have so far visited 840 people with another 301 planned, to check on those quarantining after returning from abroad, reports The Guardian.