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England adds Cyprus and Lithuania to travel quarantine list

Christian Fernsby |
People arriving into the UK from Cyprus and Lithuania from 4am Sunday 1 November 2020 will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks as the countries are removed from the travel exemptions list.

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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 in both destinations, leading to ministers removing these from the current list of travel corridors.

A range of factors are taken into account when deciding to remove a country from the exemption list, including the continued increase of coronavirus within a country, the numbers of new cases, information on a country’s testing capacity, testing regime and test positivity rate and potential trajectory of the disease in the coming weeks.

There has been a consistent increase in coronavirus cases per 100,000 of the population in Cyprus over the last 2 weeks, with a 79% increase in total cases over this time period. In Lithuania, new cases per week have increased by 47% over the same time period.

At the same time, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has also updated its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to Cyprus and Lithuania. These changes reflect the latest assessments by Public Health England of the risk to travellers in each of these destinations.

All travellers, including those from exempt destinations, will still be required to show a complete passenger locator form on arrival into the UK unless they fall into a small group of exemptions.

Penalties for those breaching the self-isolation rules when returning from non-exempt countries have increased from £1,000 for first offences up to £10,000 for subsequent offences, mirroring penalties for those breaching self-isolation following a positive coronavirus test or contact from Test and Trace.

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