More than 500,000 Britons have to return home over fears France, Netherlands and Malta will be added to UK quarantine list

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More than half a million British holidaymakers could be forced to scramble home over fears that France, the Netherlands and Malta will be added to the UK’s quarantine list.

Infections have increased in Malta and the Netherlands over the past two weeks, putting the holidays at risk.

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Holidaymakers to Malta may have to return home as the country is set to be removed from Britain’s list of safe nationsCredit: Alamy
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France remains on the list for now, but fears that it could be dropped are also increasing

This comes as there are fears that France – where 500,000 Britons are currently on vacation – could be taken off the list.

The latest figures from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control show that France has a rate of 26 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The Netherlands climbed to 32.5 while Malta climbed to 58.6. Spain was excluded from the list when the rate reached 39.

No10 is monitoring case counts, test numbers and infection rates in “a number of countries and territories”.

A source from Whitehall told the Daily Mail: “Obviously the increase in cases means the risk of quarantine is more likely. No decision has been made and we are waiting to see how things change during the week.

“What we would say to vacationers is that they need to be aware that there is a risk of quarantine at all times. No leave is necessarily guaranteed. ”

And Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We need to continue to look at data from all the countries the British want to travel to. Where it is necessary to impose restrictions or a quarantine system, we will not hesitate to do so. ”

Last week, Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas were excluded from the so-called list of airlifts.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: “We can change the list at any time. We can remove countries, but if there is a lasting improvement in the health situation in a given country, we can reinstate the exemptions. “

Following rise in infections in Malta and the Netherlands, No 10 is monitoring the number of its cases 5
Following rise in infections in Malta and the Netherlands, No 10 is monitoring the number of its cases Credit: Alamy
Boris Johnson said: 'Where there is a need to impose restrictions or a quarantine system, we will not hesitate to do so'

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Boris Johnson said: “Where there is a need to impose restrictions or a quarantine system, we will not hesitate to do so”Credit: Getty – Pool
The prime minister's official spokesperson said: 'We can change the list at any time'

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Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We can change the list at any time”Credit: AFP or licensors

This gives hope to Portugal. The Sun revealed last week that the vacation destination met the criteria to be added to the list.

But ministers were waiting a few weeks to make sure cases stay low.

No10 said decisions to remove countries from the list were based on a risk assessment by the Joint Biosafety Center.

WHO chief hails ‘strong and precise’ lockdown of Boris Johnson in northern England, says world is finally showing ‘green shoots of hope’ –

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