The United Kingdom will add the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Jamaica to its quarantine list from Saturday, the British Minister of Transport Grant Shapps announced. People who come to the UK from the Czech Republic will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
“The data show that we need to remove the Czech Republic, Jamaica, and Switzerland from our list of coronavirus travel corridors to keep infection numbers low,” Shapps said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Cuba has been readmitted to the UK’s list of countries that are cleared for travel due to its improving coronavirus numbers.
Quarantine for travelers from high-risk countries is intended to slow the spread of coronavirus infection.
Britain updates its list of safe and risky countries every week. Last time, it imposed quarantine restrictions on returnees from Croatia, Austria, and Trinidad and Tobago, and lifted them for newcomers from Portugal. London has previously introduced a 14-day quarantine for passengers from Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Malta.
People who do not quarantine face a fine of up to €1,114 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and €535 in Scotland, however, authorities may impose a fine of up to €5,575 for repeat offenders.
The UK alone reported 1,522 new cases of coronavirus infection on Thursday, the second-highest increase since June 12, according to government data. The country also reported another 12 COVID-19 deaths. According to official statistics, the total number of deaths caused by the infection in the worst affected European country reached 41,477.
No test is yet required for Czechs returning from Croatia
The Czech government maintains that no quarantine will be required for Czechs coming from Croatia or France, and no coronavirus tests are required at least until Sept. 7, confirmed the main hygienist Jarmila Rážová on Thursday. Medical experts advise Czechs in these destinations to avoid places with a larger number of people, such as bars or nightclubs, to wear face masks, to maintain their distance, and to wash their hands regularly.
These experts decided not to apply any measures for those returning from Croatia, because, among other things, there are tens of thousands of Czechs in the country intending to return at the end of the holidays, explained Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Smolek. Actions taken by the Croatian government are another reason why it is not necessary to tighten the rules since the country banned the operation of nightclubs.
Title image: In this photo issued by 10 Downing Street, Britain’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaks during a coronavirus media briefing in Downing Street, London, Thursday May 14, 2020. (Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street via AP)