Turkey and Poland put on quarantine list as Greece and Italy escape

Charles Hymas
·2-min read
GettyImages-1002913898.jpg
GettyImages-1002913898.jpg

Turkey, Poland and three Caribbean islands have had quarantine re-imposed but Greece and Italy remain “safe” for holidays and travel, it was announced last night.

Turkey, where its Covid rate is ostensibly comfortably within the quarantine-free “green” zone, has become the first country to have a travel ban imposed because the British Government does not trust its data.

Its seven day Covid rate of 12.9 cases per 100,000 of the population puts it well below the 20 per 100,000 threshold that the Government uses to trigger the imposition of quarantine.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “Documents showed Turkey was not including asymptomatic cases that other countries were. This has depressed its figures and now it has paid the price with the Government’s decision.

“This is a big blow for the travel sector. Turkey was picking up a lot of bookings from people who are increasingly finding there are few places to go on holiday.. Turkish resorts like Bodrum and Dalaman were doing very well. That growth in the holiday market will be switched off.”

Along with Turkey and Poland, the islands of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba have been removed from the Government's list of safe travel corridors.

Travellers arriving from all five destinations after 4am on Saturday October 3 will have to self-isolate for 14 days - and from Friday, they will face increased fines from £1,000 to £10,000 if they are caught flouting the self-isolation rules.

The seven-day rate of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in Poland is now at 25.9, increasing from 15.6 in the previous week. Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba also reported 142.4 new cases per 100,000, unchanged from 142.4 in the previous week.

Despite Greece and Italy's weekly rate increasing to 20.4 cases, both remain on the “green” quarantine free list.

The new list widens the virtual worldwide quarantine on British travellers and means there are just seven holiday options left which do not include some form of restriction or test. These are Germany, Italy, Sweden, Greece, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein and San Marino. 

Last Thursday Mr Shapps announced that passengers returning from Denmark, Iceland, Slovakia and the Caribbean island of Curacao would also have to self-isolate on their return.

In the past two months, Spain, France, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Malta, Netherlands, Czech Republic and mainland Portugal have all been removed from the UK green list.