London – Britain on Thursday announced it is re-imposing travel restrictions for six popular holiday destinations amid growing COVID-19 risks.
From 4.00 a.m. on Saturday (0300 GMT), anyone arriving from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba will have to self-isolate for 14 days, Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, tweeted.
He said the destinations were removed from Britain’s list of unrestricted coronavirus “Travel Corridors”, in order to keep infection rates down.
The Foreign Office has also advised against non-essential travel to France, the Netherlands, and Malta.
Shapps told the BBC that the quarantine was needed “because we’ve absolutely worked so hard to make sure that we are keeping our numbers down here.
“We can’t afford to reimport those cases from elsewhere’’.
France is the second most popular travel destination for Brits after Spain.
It is estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of British travellers who will need to quarantine when they return.
France’s junior European Affairs Minister, Clement Beaune, responded to the announcement on Twitter, saying France will “take reciprocal measures”.
He added that Paris regretted the decision and hoped for “a return to normal as soon as possible’’.
Britain’s Department for Transport officials said data from France indicated a “sharp rise in COVID-19’’.
It stated that over the past week, there had been a 66 per cent increase in newly reported cases per 100,000 people.
It also said that the Netherlands had seen a consistent uptick in newly reported cases over the past four weeks, with a 52-per-cent increase between Aug. 7 and Aug. 13.
Meanwhile, Malta’s newly reported cases increased by 105 per cent over the past seven days.
On Thursday, Britain recorded 1,009 daily coronavirus cases.
On Wednesday, it revised down its official death toll by more than 5,000.
It currently stands at to 41,347, which is still the highest in Europe.