British holidaymakers were left in shock last week when the Government announced that it would be removing Spain from the “air bridge” list with immediate effect. The devastating move, which saw potentially hundreds of holidays get cancelled, means that Britons returning from Spain and its surrounding Canary and Balearic Islands will have to isolate for 14 days on their return to the UK. Today, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden revealed that the Government is ready to slash more countries from the quarantine list “straight away” if the coronavirus rates continue to soar in some countries.
Mr Dowden, who is MP for Hertsmere in Hertfordshire, told Sky News today that the Government could impose the rules on more countries if there is a “risk”.
He said: “It would be foolhardy of the Government not to impose those restrictions if we think there is a risk and we will impose those restrictions as soon as we think the risk has materialised.
“We cannot risk importing it again from other countries where incidences are rising.”
However, there is some hope for holidaymakers.
Mr Dowden said the decision would be made after an assessment is made by the Joint Biosecurity Centre and England’s chief medical officer.
He added that the pandemic has hit a “risky” moment tourists need to be aware of.
“So long as you’re aware of that risk and comfortable with that risk, go ahead and take your break,” he said.
But he added: “If we know that risk is there we will impose those restrictions straight away.”
Mr Dowden did not reveal which countries would be at risk for keen Britons desperate for a holiday abroad.
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But he did say that it would be those who are currently experiencing a case rate that is “rising rapidly” and where Britons are returning “in numbers”.
Following Mr Dowden’s admission, Express.co.uk has compiled a list of countries which could be at risk from being removed from the coveted list.
The coronavirus case rate in Belgium has almost tripled over the last month.
Cases have gone from 615 to 1,715 which has seen the country change its rules for socialising.
Sophie Wilmes, the Belgian Prime Minister said: “Until now, social isolation has allowed everyone to meet with a maximum of 15 people a week.
“As of Wednesday, that number has been reduced to 5 people. The measure will be in force for four weeks.”
The number of infections has reportedly risen by 71 percent, compared to the week before.
People are also being told to work from home, only visit a shop for no longer than 30 minutes and only go to family gatherings with 10 people or less.
The country’s coronavirus rate is 15.1 per 100,000 of its population.
France has witnessed a sudden spike in coronavirus cases after it reported 1,130 new cases on Saturday.
At the time of writing, France has had over 183,000 cases of coronavirus.
The country’s coronavirus rate is 17.1 per 100,000 of its population.
Luxembourg’s rate of infection is 15 times higher per capita than in the UK.
The country borders Belgium to the north and west and has seen its rate rise significantly.
The number of cases has risen from 286 to 716.
The country’s coronavirus rate is 114.4 per 100,000 of its population.
Croatia is a major holiday hotspot for Britons, but the country is back on the watchlist due to its case rate.
However, luckily for Britons, the rate seems to have dropped compared to last week.
The country’s coronavirus rate is 12.4 per 100,000 of its population.
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