People arriving in England from Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Jamaica from 4am Saturday 29 August will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks as the countries are removed from the travel exemptions list.
Data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England has indicated a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the countries, leading to ministers removing these destinations from the current list of travel corridors.
There has been a consistent increase in the weekly incidence (case) rate of COVID-19 in Switzerland over the past four weeks, with a 19% increase in weekly incidence (cases) per 100,000 between the 20 and 27 August 2020, from 18.5 on the 20 August to 22.0 on the 27 August.
Data shows that there has been a consistent increase in newly reported cases in the Czech Republic over the past three weeks, with a 25% increase from 1,723 between the 14 and 20 August 2020 to 2,153 between the 21 and 27 August. Data from Jamaica shows that the weekly incidence (cases) per 100,000 has increased from 4.3 on 20 August 2020 to 20.8 on 27 August. This equates to a 382% increase.
Cuba has been added to the government’s travel corridor list following a decrease in confirmed cases of coronavirus. From 4am Saturday 29 August, passengers arriving to England from Cuba will no longer need to self-isolate so long as they haven’t been in or transited through any other non-exempt countries in the 14 days preceding their arrival.
At the same time, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to the Czech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland. Cuba is already exempt from the FCO’s global advisory against non-essential travel.
The Government has stated that it will take action to contain the virus, including removing countries from the travel corridors list rapidly, if the public health risk of people returning from a particular country without self-isolating becomes too high. This means holidaymakers may find they need to self isolate on return to the UK and are advised to consider the implications of self-isolation on them and their families before making travel plans.
People currently in Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Jamaica are encouraged to follow the local rules and check the FCO travel advice pages for further information. The Government is urging employers to be understanding of those returning from these destinations who now will need to self-isolate.
All travellers, including those from destinations on the travel corridors list, will still be required to show a completed passenger locator form on arrival into the UK unless they fall into a small group of exemptions.
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