Thursday, 1 Oct 2020

Fears Croatia, Greece and Turkey could join UK quarantine list 'in days'

Fears are mounting that more holiday hotspots could be added to the UK’s list of quarantine countries with Greece, Croatia and Turkey all witnessing a rapid rise in cases.

Greece has seen a significant new number of coronavirus cases, from 202 last week to 226 on Sunday.

Turkey recorded its highest daily number of cases since June, with 1,256 positive tests and 21 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Croatia is also now recording cases above the Government’s quarantine benchmark of 20 per 100,000 people in a seven-day period at 21.5.

Boris Johnson has already indicated that quarantine restrictions could be imposed on further European countries if a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus hits the continent.

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Over the weekend, restrictions came into force for Britons returning from France, with all those entering the UK to join those returning from Spain in going into two weeks of self-isolation.

France reported 3,105 new cases in the 24 hours up to 6pm on Sunday and one death, while 263 clusters of cases are being investigated.

An estimated 500,000 people raced to return home from France before the 4am Saturday deadline for quarantine that was announced barely 30 hours earlier.

In Italy, where a spike in cases has been recorded, masks are reportedly to become mandatory in all public places – with fears it may too be put on the UK’s ‘red list’ for travel.

Greece’s government has ordered bars, restaurants and cafes in several regions to shut between midnight and 7am after the number of cases surged at the beginning of August.

The country had managed to keep cases relatively low, with 3,112 confirmed cases and 183 deaths in mid-June, but that has surged to 6,858 and 226 deaths as of Saturday.

Croatia has seen a spike in cases as 208 were recorded on Friday, the highest in the country since the pandemic started.

Malta has also been taken off the UK’s quarantine exemption list after the number of cases has continued to grow since July 29, with 72 recorded on Saturday.

Spain has one of the highest amount of cases in Europe, with nearly 35,000 cases recorded in the past two weeks, including 7,550 on Friday.

There are hopes for Portugal, where infection rates are falling, with reports that it could be removed from the red list this week.

To avoid further confusion and disruption, travel industry experts are calling for the UK to adopt tests at airports, arguing it could open up international travel, give confidence to holidaymakers and dramatically reduce scarring to the industry and wider economy.

In Iceland, the £50 tests are used, with travellers being offered the option of pre-booking the swab test on arrival instead of going into quarantine for 14 days.

These visitors are required to self-isolate for five days before taking a second test, which is free, at a medical centre. If both are clear, the individual can return to normal life.

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