Coronavirus: Travelers from Belgium, Andorra and Bahamas must quarantine in UK

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Reuters

People arriving in the UK from Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra will need to be quarantined for 14 days, the transport secretary said.

Grant Shapps said changes would start at 4 a.m. BST on Saturday, except in Wales, where they would start at midnight on Thursday.

Countries are the latest to be affected by a change in travel advice, after Spain and Luxembourg saw quarantines reinstated last month.

Travelers to Brunei and Malaysia will no longer need to isolate themselves.

The transport secretary has previously said he “cannot rule out” that other countries are included on the list as the travel advice is under review.

People who do not self-isolate when necessary can be fined up to £ 1,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and those returning to Scotland could be fined of £ 480, with fines of up to £ 5,000 for repeat offenders.

  • What are the UK travel quarantine rules?

Up to 1.8 million British nationals visit Belgium each year, while 150,000 visit Andorra. The Bahamas, meanwhile, recorded more than 36,000 visits from the UK in 2018.

According to figures on Thursday, Belgium has a rate of 49.2 new cases per 100,000 people, higher than the UK’s latest rate of 14.3. For comparison, Spain’s rate was 27.4 when it was taken off the UK travel corridor list.

Belgium last week introduced new restrictions, which means people can only meet the same five people outside their homes per month.

Meanwhile, France, a neighboring country to Belgium, is also experiencing an increase in cases.

Mr Shapps tweeted: “Data shows we need to remove Andorra, Belgium and the Bahamas from our list of [Coronavirus] travel corridors to keep infection rates LOW.

“If you arrive in the UK after 04:00 Saturday from these destinations you will need to self-isolate for 14 days. “

The UK introduced the mandatory 14-day quarantine for arrivals in early June.

But the following month, the four British nations unveiled lists of “travel lanes,” dozens of countries that were exempt from the rule including France, Italy and Germany.

Since then a few more countries have been added, but Spain and Luxembourg have been removed.

It comes as figures have shown demand for the Eurotunnel – which takes people between the UK and France in their vehicles – is recovering faster to pre-coronavirus levels than air travel.

Passengers in the tunnel were down 21% in July compared to July last year – as Britain’s biggest airlines operated at less than half capacity last month.

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