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The UK government has amended the list of safe countries from which arrivals to England don’t need to quarantine for 14-days voluntarily.

People that arrive from Aruba, France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta & Turks and Caicos Islands need to quarantine for 14-days starting at 4 AM on Saturday, August 15, 2020.

You can access the UK’s Coronavirus travel advice here.

Here’s the announcement:

  • France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba removed from list of travel corridors for England following data showing a significant increase in COVID-19 risk, with passengers required to self-isolate when returning from these countries from 4am on Saturday 15 August
  • travellers urged to check the latest advice from the FCO before travelling and ensure they have filled in a passenger locator form before returning home
  • government continues to closely monitor increase in reported cases worldwide, and will keep all countries and territories under constant review

People arriving in England from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba from 4am Saturday 15 August 2020 will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks as the countries are removed from the travel exemptions list.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England have indicated a significant change in coronavirus (COVID-19) risk in all 6 destinations, leading to ministers removing these from the current list of travel corridors.

Data from France shows that over the past week (7 to 13 August) there has been a 66% increase in newly reported cases and a 52% increase in weekly incidence rate per 100,000 population, indicating a sharp rise in COVID-19.

There has been a consistent increase in newly reported cases in the Netherlands over the past 4 weeks, with a 52% increase in newly reported cases between 7 and 13 August. Over the past week, there has been a 273% increase in newly reported cases in the Turks and Caicos Islands and 1,106% increase in newly reported cases in Aruba. Malta has had a 105% increase in newly reported cases over the past 7 days.

At the same time, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has also updated its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to France, Monaco, the Netherlands, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba.

The government has made consistently clear it will take decisive action if necessary to contain the virus, including removing countries from the travel corridors list rapidly if the public health risk of people returning from a particular country without self-isolating becomes too high.

People currently in France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba are encouraged to follow the local rules and check the FCO travel advice pages on GOV.UK for further information.

Conclusion

Many European countries relaxed travel requirements in June and July only to tighten them up again when the Covid-19 infection rates are again rising.

This puts travelers in a very tricky position, especially if they are in one of these countries from which the quarantine applies in less than 24 hours. There is not much time to return home.

Also, this means that there will be tens of thousands of travelers whose plans are affected by this. Airlines and hotels are not required to refund if you decide not to travel if the flights operate, and hotels/accommodation stay open.

I continue to strongly advise against buying any international travel in advance in this environment—too many variables and possible obstacles that may lead to a financial loss.

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