Holiday devastation as new European hotspots axed from travel corridors

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Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps took to Twitter this evening to announce the latest blow to European holidays. Though Cyprus had once been hailed as a “safe” haven thanks to low coronavirus figures, in recent weeks things have taken a turn for the worst. Travellers coming back from Cyprus and Lithuania will now face quarantine.

Positive COVID-19 infection rates have skyrocketed, with the latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) showing Cyprus has recorded 111.7 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in its population over a seven-day period.

This is well above the UK’s new and previous thresholds.

In a tweet, Grant Shapps stated: “TRAVEL CORRIDOR UPDATE: We are REMOVING CYPRUS and LITHUANIA from the #TravelCorridor list.

“From 4am Sunday 1st November, if you arrive into the UK from these destinations you will need to self-isolate.”

The UK was previously using a threshold of 20 coronavirus cases per 100,000 of the population over a seven day period.

They have since changed this threshold to 100 cases, however, it made little difference in saving Cyprus and Lithuania.

Lithuania recorded 201.6 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of the population in the last 14 days according to the ECDC.

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For Cyprus, this figure was 192.6.

Surprisingly, both remain far lower than the UK, which in the same period saw 431.6 confirmed cases.

Now, travellers arriving back into the UK from both Cyprus and Lithuania will face mandatory quarantine.

This means they must self-isolate, by law, for 14 days.

Anyone found to be in breach of this rule could face a fine of up to £10,000.

Though other nations have been re-added to the travel corridor list in recent weeks, the latest change saw no new opportunities for holidays.

Mr Shapps stated: “We are NOT adding any countries to the list of TRAVEL CORRIDORS this week.”

It comes following the decision last week to add the Canary Islands to the list.

This came as positive news for Britons seeking winter sun, who are now able to jet off to the holiday islands without quarantine.

However, they must follow strict entry requirements in order to visit the Canaries.

Travellers will have to undergo a temperature check and visual health assessment upon arrival.

“It is mandatory for all passengers travelling to Spain to fill out and sign an online form 48 hours prior to travel, providing the Spanish Ministry of Health with contact information and details of any known history of exposure to COVID-19,” adds the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

“On completion, you will be issued a personal and non-transferable QR code which you must show (electronically or hardcopy) at airport health controls on arrival.”

However, Britons could soon be required to be tested for coronavirus when they visit the Canary Islands.

Travellers may be required to be tested for COVID-19 at hotel receptions when they visit the islands.

The new plans would mean that Britons would avoid being tested at airports but at hotel receptions.

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