Cyprus and Lithuania are the latest destinations to be removed from the UK government’s list of travel corridors, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.
The decision will impact families currently away on half term breaks who are booked on flights back to the UK later on Sunday 1 November.
Travellers must isolate
The removal from the safe corridor list means that travellers who arrive in the UK from these countries will now be required to self-isolate on their return.
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The 14 day quarantine will apply to those who arrive back in the UK after 4am on Sunday 1 November, due to a recent rise in Covid cases.
The DfT said there has been a “consistent increase” in Covid cases in Cyprus over the past two weeks, with cases per increasing by 79 per cent over that period.
In Lithuania, the number of new Covid cases per week has increased by 47 per cent over the same period.
Meanwhile, no countries have been added to the list of travel corridors this week, but the travel industry was given a much-needed boost last week when the Canary Islands was readded.
How are decisions made?
A range of factors are taken into account before removing a country from the list of travel corridors using data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England.
These include case numbers, testing capacity, test positivity and the “potential trajectory of the disease in the coming weeks.”
Germany managed to maintain its quarantine exemption despite recording 107 cases per 100,000 people in the past week, while the UK’s own rate is 230.
The government is believed to be using a rate of 100 as the threshold above which it considers triggering quarantine conditions.
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said, “Cyprus has seen a 400 per cent increase in infections in the last two weeks but no mortalities since early October.
“It’s bizarre that the UK government thinks Cyprus is more of a risk to Brits than Germany. The decisions made by the Joint Biosecurity Centre are now highly questionable.
“Germany is moving into mini-lockdown, seen a surge in infections in recent days, yet it’s deemed lower risk than Iceland. And it’s indefensible that Africa still has no travel corridor.”