While the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) still advises against non-essential overseas travel, a list of “travel lanes” highlights countries and territories deemed “safe” to visit.
These areas are exempt from UK government quarantine rules.
Travelers returning home from a place not on the list must self-isolate for 14 days to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
But it is not a fixed system, as evidenced by the recent reintroduction of Spain into the so-called “red list”.
This was due to an increase in the number of coronavirus infections and the re-imposition of lockdown measures on citizens, which raised fears of a ‘second wave’.
So what other vacation destinations currently labeled “safe” are at risk of having their quarantine exemptions removed?
Which countries could join the UK quarantine list?
Currently the UK has travel corridors with 70 countries, meaning UK visitors can travel to and from these destinations without having to self-quarantine.
Initially, the UK reviewed countries included on the “safe” list every three weeks, but now a system of continuous review could see countries removed from the list at short notice.
“We need to keep the situation under review and I think that is what the public expects of us,” young Health Minister Helen Whately told Sky News on Monday (July 27th).
“If we see the rates increasing in a country where at the moment there is no need to quarantine, if we see the rates increasing, we will have to take action because we cannot take the risk of the coronavirus spreading again across the UK, ”she added.
According to Whately, Britain is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation in Germany and France and is constantly reviewing the situation in popular holiday destinations.
Other countries currently exempt from UK quarantine rules, which see an increase in the number of cases tied with France and Germany, include Japan and Turkey.
Why has Spain been removed from the list of travel lanes?
Spain – one of the most popular holiday destinations among British tourists – was originally on the list of travel lanes.
But a spike in the number of coronavirus infections and the re-imposition of lockdown measures on citizens had raised fears of a “second wave”.; the number of cases tripled in two weeks, with more than 900 new infections reported on Friday, July 24.
In response, the British government withdrew the country from its exemption.
Helen Whately told the BBC that bringing back the quarantine rules for Spanish visitors was the ‘right thing to do’ as the UK virus rate must be kept ‘low’ to avoid a second spike.
She urged anyone considering booking a vacation to “be aware that we are still in the situation of a global pandemic. “