BREAKING > Cyprus and Lithuania are put on UK quarantine list with Britons facing dash back home to beat 4am deadline on Sunday to avoid 14-day isolation
- Cyprus and Lithuania removed from Government list of travel corridors Thursday
- British tourists will need to return to UK before 4am on Sunday to avoid isolation
- Those arriving in the UK after the deadline must self-isolate for 14 days
Cyprus and Lithuania have been removed from the Government’s list of travel corridors, meaning travellers arriving in the UK from those places after 4am on Sunday must self-isolate for 14 days, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Thursday.
Shapps added in a post on Twitter that the Government would not be adding any countries to the UK’s list of travel corridors where Britons can travel without having to self-isolate this week.
Cyprus recorded just 91 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday while Lithuania had 413. Both totals are considerably lower than the UK figures, which showed 22,885 new cases on Tuesday.
While some Brits expressed confusion, tweeting from Cyprus that they felt perfectly safe there, others were enraged by today’s announcement and questioned the logic of closing the travel corridor on the last day of the English half-term holiday, likely forcing many families to keep their kids at home for two weeks.
Cyprus recorded just 91 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday while Lithuania had 413. Both totals are considerably lower than the UK figures, which showed 22,885 new cases on Tuesday
The list of places which UK travellers can visit without facing 14 days in self-isolation continues to dwindle.
Liechtenstein was removed from the safe list last Sunday with Italy, San Marino and the Vatican City State being struck off the week before.
There are still 56 territories on the UK’s ‘green list’ where quarantine is not required on return, but many of the areas have their own restrictions on arrival or are closed to visitors completely.
Downing Street remains under intense pressure to change the UK’s travel quarantine rules amid growing fears for the future of the aviation and travel industries.
Ministers have faced calls for months to replace the current 14 day self-isolation restrictions for people returning to the UK from high risk countries with a more nuanced system of airport testing.
Advocates believe testing on arrival could open the door to significantly reducing the two week quarantine period to potentially less than seven days.
A double testing approach would see travellers tested on arrival and then told to self-isolate for something like five days when they would then be tested for a second time.
Two negative tests would be enough to allow people to end their period in quarantine and return to normal life.
However, ministers have been reluctant to approve airport testing because of concerns that the approach could fail to identify some people who have the virus.
This is because of the amount of time it can take for the virus to be detectable after the moment of infection.