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Last night, Sweden and Germany were the latest countries to be removed from the travel corridor list. The two nations have been on the cusp of being removed for weeks after recording a spike in coronavirus cases. Unfortunately, no countries were added to the travel corridor list.
Britons returning to the UK from Sweden and Germany have to quarantine for 14 days from 4am on Saturday (November 7).
All passengers arriving in the UK are still required to complete a passenger locator form.
However, today, Denmark was axed from the safe list in a an unexpected move.
The government’s latest decision was announced on Twitter Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
He said: “I’ve taken the urgent decision tonight to remove DENMARK from the travel corridor list immediately given developments.
“Passengers arriving into the UK from DENMARK from 4am on 6 November 2020 will need to self-isolate for 14 days.”
The minister’s statement was met with anger by fellow Twitter users who immediately slammed the government for its handling of travel during the pandemic.
One user said: “Do you have any idea how many people who are supposed to self isolate, actually self isolate and how many imported cases of COVID there are each day?
“My guess is you have absolutely no idea so all the suffering people will be going through is completely futile.”
Another angrily said: “Don’t worry, Grant, the actions of you and the government under which you serve have all but decimated the once great travel industry of this country.”
Another commented: “It’s hardly a lockdown if the borders are still open.”
One user questioned why the government was yet to introduce airport testing.
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They said: “You’ve had more than seven months to bring in testing at airports on return to the UK and have failed!
“Repeatedly told that you are putting people’s jobs and lives at risk – time to resign?”
A further explanation has been published on the government website.
The site explains the UK government has decided to remove the country from the safe list after mass outbreaks of COVID-19 in mink farms which have led to a “variant strain of the virus” then spreading into local communities.
From 4am today, anyone arriving into the UK from Denmark will have to isolate for 14 days.
Mr Shapps said in a statement: “I understand that this will be concerning for both people currently in Denmark and the wider UK public, which is why we have moved quickly to protect our country and prevent the spread of the virus to the UK.
“Health authorities in Denmark have reported widespread outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19) in mink farms, with a variant strain of the virus spreading to some local communities.
“The Chief Medical Officer has therefore recommended that, as precautionary measure, all those returning from Denmark should self-isolate for 14 days.
“People currently in Denmark may finish their trip, follow the local rules and check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice pages on GOV.UK for further information.
“While new lockdown rules mean leaving home in order to travel for holidays is no longer permitted, the government’s travel corridor policy remains a critical part of the government’s COVID-19 response as it mitigates the risk of importing infections from abroad.”
Denmark will reportedly cull all its mink which is as many as 17 million in response to the outbreak.
Denmark was only added to the quarantine-free list on October 25.
Currently, England is in national lockdown which means Britons cannot travel away from home, including going abroad.
Different rules apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The government is believed to be using a rate of 100 new cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period as the threshold above which it considers triggering quarantine conditions.
This is up from 20 new cases per 100,000 in recent months.
Denmark recorded 126.7 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period, according to figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and The PC Agency.
Germany recorded 140.4 and Sweden 189.5 per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.
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