All over the world, it appears that much-feared second wave is beginning to kick in. Now the UK government has issued yet another update to the list of 70 or so destinations Brits can travel to without having to quarantine on their return – removing Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra due to their rising numbers of cases.
The rule change means anyone travelling from those countries to the UK will have to self-isolate for 14 days, and comes into effect at 4am BST tomorrow (August 8). In Wales, it started at midnight yesterday.
Travellers returning from those destinations will now have to provide an address where they will self-isolate for a fortnight (or risk a fine of up to £1,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or £480 in Scotland). During those two weeks, they cannot go to work, school or any public place, nor have visitors – except for essential support.
The Foreign Office is also now warning against ‘all but essential travel’ to the three countries.
As part of yesterday’s update to the ‘travel corridor’ list, the government said anyone travelling from Brunei and Malaysia will now no longer need to self-isolate on arrival.
It comes a fortnight after Spain was removed from the list – causing havoc for hundreds of thousands of British holidaymakers who had getaways booked for August and September. The day before, the country had recorded a rate of 27.4 new cases per 100,000 people (one of the measures the British government is using to monitor its ‘corridor’ list). Yesterday Belgium’s rate had soared to double that figure: some 49.2 per 100,000.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has said he ‘cannot rule out’ other countries being included on the quarantine list. Speculation is growing that France could be next after the country’s cases hit a two-month high yesterday – rising by more than 1,600 in a single day.
So in other words: if you haven’t already booked a trip abroad over the coming months, it may be sensible to consider staying somewhere closer to home instead. If you have, then better keep your fingers and toes (and pretty much everything else you have two or more of) crossed.