Three more countries have been removed from the list of quarantine-free travel destinations after a rise in coronavirus cases, the Transport Secretary has announced.
Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic have followed France and Spain in being axed from travel corridor scheme, meaning people travelling from those countries must quarantine for 14 days if they arrive in the UK after 4am on Saturday.
Grant Shapps confirmed on Thursday: “Quarantining on return from a non-travel corridor country is a legal requirement and you commit a criminal offence if you break that quarantine. Fines, as well as a criminal record can result.”
The Department for Transport said there has been a consistent increase in the weekly case rate of Covid-19 in Switzerland, with a 19 per cent increase in weekly cases per 100,000 from 18.5 on August 20 to 22.0 on 27 August – passing the approximate threshold of 20.0 set out for the air bridge scheme.
Data also shows there has been a consistent increase in newly reported cases in the Czech Republic over the past three weeks, from 1,723 between 14-20 August to 2,153 from 21-27 August.
In Jamaica, weekly cases per 100,000 has increased from 4.3 on 20 August to 20.8 on 27 August, an increase of 382 per cent.
Data shows we need to remove the Czech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland from our list of #Coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN. If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) August 27, 2020
Mr Shapps also announced that Cuba would be added to the list of countries from which arriving travellers are not required to quarantine after a decrease in confirmed coronavirus cases, meaning that from 29 August, passengers arriving from Cuba will no longer need to self-isolate.
The DfT said in a statement: “Infections from Covid-19 are on the rise across Europe.
“The Government has made consistently clear it will take decisive action if necessary to contain the virus, which includes removing countries from the travel corridors list rapidly, if the public health risk of people returning from a particular country