Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago are the latest countries to be added to the UK’s quarantine list, following a rise in coronavirus cases.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the news on Thursday (20 August) evening, with the changes meaning travellers will now have to self-isolate on returning to the UK.
In Scotland, travellers returning from Switzerland will also be required to quarantine for a fortnight, the country’s Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has announced.
When will rules take effect?
The new quarantine rules will come into effect from 4am on Saturday 22 August.
Any travellers who return to the UK after this date will have to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
Quarantine restrictions for Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago apply for travellers returning to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
As for Switzerland, only travellers returning to Scotland will need to self-isolate.
Why have quarantine rules been imposed?
The weekly number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 in Croatia has seen a 164 per cent increase from the week of 12 August, while Trinidad and Tobago saw a 232 per cent increase.
Austria was slightly lower with an increase of 93 per cent from the week of 13 August.
In response to the recent rise in cases, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is now advising against all but essential travel to each of these countries.
Scotland was the only UK nation to add Switzerland to its quarantine list, with Scottish ministers taking the decision as a precautionary measure in response to a sharp increase in cases, which are now at a similar level to Austria.
Meanwhile, Portugal has now been added to the list of countries that are free from quarantine restrictions, meaning travellers can visit the country without having to self-isolate on their return.
What happens if I’m already on holiday?
The FCO is not advising those who are already travelling in Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago to leave at this time.
Instead, travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to stay safe, including any measures that are introduced to try and control the virus.
Contact your travel operator if you have any questions about your return journey.
Travellers who return to the UK after 4am on 22 August date will have to self-isolate for 14 days on their return.
What if I have a holiday booked?
If you have a holiday booked to a country on the quarantine list, it is possible that airlines will cancel flights and holidays in the wake of the country being removed from the list of approved travel corridors.
Travellers should be able to claim a refund or credit note for their booking, while some airlines are allowing passengers to change the date of their holiday free of charge.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has said that travel insurance will remain valid for people who are already in quarantine countries until they return home. However, those who travel to countries against FCO advice will “likely” find that their insurance is invalid, the ABI added.
As for employees who have to go into quarantine, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said that no worker who is required to self-isolate should be penalised by their employer, including by being put on sick pay.