Travel

Holiday chaos: Britons could be locked out of countries by strict new EU quarantine laws

Some Britons’ holiday plans have already been put on hold following the government’s new “rule of six” measures on social gatherings which were put in place yesterday. But now it seems, holidays in Europe could be further jeopardised thanks to new EU quarantine rules. Last week, the European Commission revealed that it was looking at a new quarantine system which could see arrivals from EU countries with an infection rate higher than 50 per 100,000 people over a 14-day period be asked to quarantine for 14 days.

Countries on the “red” list would also include countries with a positive test rate above three percent or if new infections are more than 150 over 14 days.

Finland will be adopting a similar model from September 29 whereby any traveller from a country with 25 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people will have to quarantine and undergo coronavirus testing.

Ireland will also be enforcing similar restrictions in the coming days.

The move will essentially lock Britons out of certain countries due to the UK’s recent surge in infections.

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Currently, the UK has 51.1 cases of coronavirus over a 14-day period and a positive test rate of six percent following a recent surge in cases.

Other countries such as France, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany are also thought to be in favour of the new rules.

However, it is also thought that they wish to keep their ability to individually alter their own quarantine restrictions.

Unless the UK’s coronavirus case rate dramatically improves, it’s looking likely that it may be locked out of certain EU countries in the future.

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According to the new measures, the UK, Spain, France and the USA would all be on the “red” list.

Those on the “amber” list would be countries with fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 people and positivity rates at three percent or more.

Countries on the “safe” list would be those with fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 people and positivity rates below three percent.

The European Commission is pushing member states to adopt its recently system so the entire bloc uses the same criteria.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) would publish a map every week with the latest colour codes applied to each country for travellers to follow.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency said that the move pinpoints why a “comprehensive” testing regime needs to be adopted.

He said: “It is good news that consensus is being agreed but bad news for travellers leaving the UK because our numbers are getting worse and people are going to have to quarantine in other countries.

“It underlines the need for a more comprehensive testing regime so that people in red list countries can avoid quarantine if they are tested before or on arrival, then again after a short period in quarantine.”

Currently, the UK is enforcing quarantine rules on countries with more than 20 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

Last week, this saw Portugal and several Greek islands axed from the travel corridor list.

A new targeted approach is in place now so that regional restrictions can be enforced.

For example, Portugal was removed from the travel corridor list but the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores remain on the list.



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