Italy speeds into red zone ahead of new quarantine announcement – Cyprus & Greece steady

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Holidays to travel corridors are currently overshadowed with the constant anxiety that Boris Johnson’s Government may suddenly axe destinations at any given time. With another quarantine update anticipated this evening, travel expert Paul Charles has weighed in with his predictions.

Though holidays to Italy are currently on the cards, an increase in COVID-19 rates mean those currently enjoying a holiday in the hotspot may face a race against the clock to avoid self-isolation rules.

Contrastingly, however, it seems some other nations are faring well despite previous concerns.

In a Tweet on Wednesday evening, Mr Charles said: “Weds update: #Italy infection rate is up by 130% on a 14-day basis and its testing positivity is rising.

“#Sweden positivity also increasing. #Greece remains remarkably stable with few mortalities.

“#Cyprus highly unlikely to be added to the quarantine list tomorrow.”

Currently, the Government is using a threshold of 20 confirmed cases per 100,000 of the population over the previous seven days to determine how “safe” a destination is.

According to The PC Agency and the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), Italy has seen 58.3 confirmed cases in the last seven days cumulative.

Similarly, Sweden is also in the red zone, despite having been re-added to the travel corridor list recently.

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Sweden has recorded 43.8 cases in the last seven days cumulative.

Interestingly, Sweden is one of the only nations not to enforce draconian restrictions on its citizens.

Its rate remains far lower than the UK, which by comparison has recorded 157.3 confirmed cases.

Both Greece and Cyprus are just teetering slightly above the threshold, with holidays still likely to be an option according to Mr Charles.

Greece has recorded 23.5 and Cyprus 22.8.

In recent weeks, the Government have been slammed for their handling of travel during the pandemic.

Travel expert Simon Calder described the methods being used as “bizarre”.

“We have this bizarre system that the number of countries that you can confidently book to is dropping almost by the day,” he said when speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“You’ve got this wheel of fortune that spins every Thursday night at tea time.

“The department of transport comes up with the latest fallers as it were, and that’s more places crossed off the list and very sadly more jobs lost in the UK travel industry.”

Meanwhile, a further push for airport testing is being cried for by travel industry insiders.

However, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Wednesday that the UK will be using a “test and release” strategy instead of airport testing on arrival in the UK.

Holidaymakers will be the ones to foot the bill.

Mr Shapps said: “We’re proposing both a domestic test regime, when people land and wait a week, have a test and get early release.

“We’re also proposing an internationally recognised system, in which Britain would be a trailblazer.

“When tests and isolation take place prior to travel and after travel and would require no quarantine.

“There are two separate approaches that we’re working on and Britain will be in the lead on both those fronts.

“COVID remains a very significant threat to the health of the British people and of course the health of the travel industry.”

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