Which countries have been removed from the safe travel list?

By Joe Gammie, PA
·4 min read

The UK Government has announced the latest changes to its quarantine exemption list of countries.

Thailand and Singapore have been added to the list of travel corridors, while Slovenia and Guadeloupe have been removed.

Here’s a guide to the latest changes:

– Which countries are off the travel-safe list for England?

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Thursday quarantine restrictions are being imposed on travellers from Slovenia and Guadeloupe.

People arriving in England from either of those destinations after 4am on Saturday will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

– Why have they been taken off the list?

The Department for Transport (DfT) said that that data showed a “significant” change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus in both destinations.

Data from Slovenia shows that its seven-day rate of cases is 29.1 per 100,000 people, up from 14.4 in the previous seven days.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

The rate for Guadeloupe has risen more than six-fold in the past four weeks, the DfT said.

A rate of 20 is the threshold above which the UK Government considers triggering quarantine conditions.

– Have any countries been added to the exemption list for England?

Mr Shapps said that Thailand and Singapore have been added to the list of travel corridors after a decrease in the rate of coronavirus cases.

It means that travellers arriving in England from either south-east Asian country after 4am on Saturday will no longer need to quarantine for two weeks.

Coronavirus – Tue Sep 8, 2020
Passengers arrive at Heathrow as they return from Greece, after the Government added a number of islands to the quarantine list (Yui Mok/PA)

– What about Scotland and Wales?

Slovenia and Guadeloupe have been added to the quarantine list for Scotland – while Singapore and Thailand are being removed, the Scottish Government said.

The changes come into effect at 4am on Saturday, meaning from then people entering Scotland from Slovenia and Guadeloupe must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

Also from 4am on Saturday, people arriving in Wales from Guadeloupe and Slovenia will have to self-isolate for 14 days, the Welsh Government said.

However, those coming from Gibraltar and Thailand will no longer need to quarantine.

– What should travellers already in Slovenia and Guadeloupe do?

The DfT said that people currently in Slovenia and Guadeloupe are encouraged to follow the local rules and check the Foreign Office advice pages.

The Government is also urging employers to be understanding of those returning from these destinations who now will need to self-isolate.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has previously said no worker following quarantine guidance should be penalised by employers, including by being put on sick pay.

– I’ve got a holiday booked to a country that is not on the travel corridor list – what should I do?

The Foreign Office advises British nationals against “all but essential travel” to the countries that have not been declared travel corridors.

In England, those who still decide to travel to one of these countries must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return or risk a fine of up to £1,000, and of up to £3,200 if they falsify details on their contact-tracing form.

Scotland is issuing fixed penalty notices of £480 for those who fail to quarantine, while Wales will also fine travellers up to £1,000 if they refuse to comply with the rules.

– My holiday destination still has no self-isolation requirement, will that change?

Those who head to a country on the travel corridor list must keep a close eye on their respective government’s announcements to ensure their destination’s status does not change while they are abroad.

Some tourists have had to pay hundreds of pounds to change to earlier flights in order to make it back before the quarantine requirement comes into force.

The UK Government and the devolved administrations make their decisions based on the fluctuating rate of transmission rates in each foreign country. Scotland has already warned that Gibraltar is on the verge of losing its travel-safe status.