It is that time of the week where Her Majesties Government and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office play spin the wheel and decide which countries go on or off the travel corridors list.
Countries that will require self-isolation upon entry into the United Kingdom
- Poland: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/poland
- Turkey: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey
- Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/bonaire-st-eustatius-saba
People arriving in the UK from Poland, Turkey, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba from 4 am Saturday 3 October 2020 will need to self-isolate for 14 days (two weeks) as the countries are removed from the travel corridors list.
The FCDO is not advising those already travelling to leave at this time. Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.
If you’re arriving from the Portuguese islands of the Azores and Madeira and are heading to Scotland, you will not need to self-isolate.
The reasons for the changes
As HM Government has hidden the press release this week, we’ll go from the Honorary Member of Parliament Grant Shapps own words.
Data from Poland shows that test positivity has nearly doubled increasing from 3.9% to 5.8% alongside a rapid increase in weekly cases, causing the Joint Biosecurity Centre to update their recommendation.
We’re also removing TURKEY from the list – the Turkish Health Ministry has been defining the number of new COVID-19 cases in a different way to the definition used by international organisations such as WHO and ECDC, so we have updated our risk assessment for the country.
Time to get out the stick if you don’t self-isolate
For those of you who are thinking of skipping your self-isolation requirements when returning, the Government has deployed a rather large fiscal stick, with fines coming.
The fines will start at £1,000, increasing to £2,000, then £4,000 up to a maximum of £10,000 in England. The upper limit for repeat offences was previously £3,200.
And for the usual things you need to be aware of
It goes without saying that we need to bang on about filling in the passenger locator form (even though whoever wrote that form did it with the minimal amount of testing in the world…).
This is required to be completed before you arrive in the UK. All travellers, including those from exempt destinations, will still be required to show a completed form on arrival into the UK unless they fall into a small group of exemptions. The UK Border Force do carry out spot checks, and travellers who refuse to provide their contact details, face a fine starting at £100 – so it’s in your personal as well as fiscal interest to fill that form in.
And as for the travel sector
Considering Turkey is a popular destination for UK Holidaymakers, this is yet another blow to travel companies.
It’s going to take a lot more than thoughts and prayers to get out of this – may be a coordinated effort, some COVID-19 reductions and maybe some at-airport testing…
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