Italy out and Crete in as new travel corridor list released

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that Italy, San Marino and the Vatican City state are the latest European destinations to have been removed from the UK’s travel corridors.

This means that any holidaymakers travelling back from those countries after 4am on Sunday (October 18) must self-isolate for two weeks.

The decision was made following a concerning rise in the number of Covid-19 infections in those destinations.

Italy recorded its highest daily number of coronavirus cases on Wednesday (October 14) with 7,332. This brings its seven-day rate of cases per 100,000 people to 64.

The UK’s case rate currently stands at 166.

A rate of 20 is the threshold above which the Government considers triggering quarantine conditions.

However it isn’t all bad news as Crete has been added back on the safe travel corridors, meaning holidays are back on the cards to the Greek island.

The Department for Transport said the risk to public health from those returning from there “has decreased to an acceptable level”.

Confirming the changes on his Twitter account, Mr Shapps said: “TRAVEL CORRIDOR UPDATE: We are REMOVING ITALY, Vatican City state & San Marino from the #TravelCorridor list.

“However, note that the implementation date is moved to 4am on SUNDAY 18 October & applies UK wide, if you arrive from these destinations you will need to self-isolate”.

Travellers to Scotland from Italy, San Marino and the Vatican also have to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival.

Meanwhile, those arriving from mainland Greece and the Greek islands, except Mykonos, will no longer need to quarantine as of the same time due to the low number of cases.

The removal of Italy’s exemption is a further blow to the UK’s travel industry, as it was one of its last big markets without a quarantine requirement for returning holidaymakers.

Last week Italy introduced compulsory coronavirus testing for arriving UK visitors.

Arrivals from European countries such as the UK, France and Spain must provide evidence of a negative test taken in the 72 hours prior to travel.

Visitors unable to provide proof of a negative result at the border have to take a test in Italy.

On Wednesday, Mark Tanzer, chief executive of travel trade organisation Abta, expressed fears that more travel firms could go bust in just weeks due to the pandemic.

He said at least 20 travel companies with UK operations have already collapsed since March.

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Lancs Live – Cumbria