Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra became the latest three countries to join Spain in the UK’s axed travel corridor list. The decision was made following a rapid increase in coronavirus cases in each nation, sending holidays into chaos.
British holidaymakers currently in those destinations will now have to endure 14-days of mandatory self-isolation upon their return to the UK.
A travel warning for each has also been issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advising against all but essential travel.
However, it seems even Britons who have not chosen to holiday in banned destinations could face being forced into quarantine once they return home.
This is particularly true of those who are holidaying in Europe and transiting through neighbouring locations where regulations may differ.
Following the latest three countries to be added to the list, the BBC’S European Correspondent Nick Beake appeared on BBC Breakfast to explain how travellers may be impacted.
“Now, this won’t have the same impact when we saw Spain join the list, but still 1.8 million Brits go to Belgium every year and there are also knock-on consequences,” he said.
“For example, if you’re coming from the Netherlands via Brussels, if you are getting the Eurostar there.”
Indeed, according to the FCO even those “transiting” through countries will have to give their name and address on return to the UK and enter into quarantine.
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The FCO website states: “You will need to self-isolate if you visited or made a transit stop in a country or territory that is not on the list in the 14 days before you arrive in England.”
This applies to all travel to England, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route.
It adds: “A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off. It can apply to coaches, ferries, trains or flights. Your ticket should show if a stop is a transit stop.
“If your journey involves a transit stop in a country not on the list, you will need to self-isolate when you arrive in England.”
“[This includes] if new passengers get on or you or other passengers get off the transport you are on and mix with other people, then get on again.
“You don’t need to self-isolate beyond normal timescales if, during your transit stop in a non-exempt country no new passengers get on, no-one on-board gets off and mixes with people outside, or passengers get off but do not get back on.”
Mr Beake also discussed the impact of other countries currently facing the threat of a travel ban – with France, in particular, causing major concerns.
“I think one thing that could have a really really big impact is if France joins the UK quarantine list,” he said.
“It’s not there yet but there is concern because if you look at what they’ve been announcing in Pairs in the last 24 hours or so, they’ve just recorded their highest number of daily cases for two months.
“The number of people who sadly lost their lives there has now topped 30 thousand and that’s behind only the UK and Italy.”
Indeed, this morning Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned Britons that the Government “would not hesitate” to take action on France if figured deemed the move necessary for public safety.
He said: “It’s the right thing for us to do to keep everything under review on a constant basis talking with our scientists, our medical advisers, and if we need to take action as you’ve seen overnight we will of course not hesitate to do that, and we’re doing that to protect people’s health.”
He added: “It’s a tricky situation. What I can say to people is we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and that means there is always the risk of disruption to travel plans and people need to bear that in mind.”
However, the uncertainty is causing frustration for holidaymakers and the travel industry alike who are grappling to get to grips with fast-paced changes.
“As we’ve been saying all along if you’re trying to book a holiday or you’ve got a last-minute deal you can’t seem to plan anything with any certainty at the moment,” warned Mr Beake.
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