Quarantine: UK now five times above its ‘high risk’ threshold for travel

Simon Calder
·2-min read
Danger zone: the Bay of Fethiye on the south coast of Turkey (Simon Calder)
Danger zone: the Bay of Fethiye on the south coast of Turkey (Simon Calder)

The UK’s new coronavirus infection rate is now over five times above the “high-risk” threshold used by the government to decide the no-go list for British travellers.

The Independent has analysed the figures produced on Monday morning by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The many thousands of “missing” positive test results have now been added to the UK’s cumulative figures.

Its rate of new infections in the past week per 100,000 people is now 102, up from 76 on Sunday. More than 68,000 cases have been recorded in the last seven days.

The spike in the number of new coronavirus cases in the UK means the country is now one of the highest on the international league table of infections.

It has leapfrogged the US, though the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium have higher rates.

On Thursday, the UK government put Poland and Turkey on the high-risk list, imposing two weeks of mandatory self-isolation for returning holidaymakers and warning against all.

Poland had a rate of 28, while Turkey’s official statistics on the spread of the virus are now regarded as unsound.

There are fears that Italy, with a rate of new infections around one-quarter of the UK, could be added to the no-go list – even though the chances of contracting coronavirus are far lower than in the UK.

It is the last Mediterranean country currently with no restrictions for British visitors in either direction.

The soaring rates of coronavirus in the UK have led other EU countries to impose quarantine on British visitors.

Anyone entering Germany who has been in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, North East England, North West England or “Yorkshire and the Humbers” in the past two weeks is required to self-isolate for 14 days – although in most German federal states arrivals are released from quarantine following a negative coronavirus test.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “The air corridors and quarantine system is broken and there is a total lack of confidence in the decisions taken by the Joint Biosecurity Centre. It’s already way past the time when the government should be introducing a world-class testing strategy.

“Consumers urgently need to be reassured and only a testing strategy will do. The time for excuses is over.”

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Quarantine: Turkey and Poland join no-go list, piling on misery for holidaymakers and travel industry