Holidays: Quarantine decision leaves travel experts fuming as Germany remains on safe list

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced last night on Twitter that Cyprus and Lithuania would be added to the quarantine list from 4am on Sunday. The announcement was a huge blow to Britons’ holidays with Cyprus becoming a popular destination over the summer months. Those returning to the UK from Cyprus or Lithuania from 4am on Sunday will be required to self isolate for 14 days.

The latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) suggest that Cyprus had recorded 111.7 new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

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

However, Germany was expected to to be added to the quarantine list after recording a huge surge in coronavirus cases.

The country recorded 107.2 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

German health officials also said yesterday that 89 people had died in the past 24 hours from COVID-19 after recording 16,774 new infections.

Germany is also putting a national lockdown in place from Monday which will see the closure of restaurants, bars, gyms and theatres.

Meanwhile, Cyprus has only recorded just over 4,000 coronavirus cases in total.

CEO of travel consultancy, The PC Agency Paul Charles has been following the UK’s quarantine decisions in recent months.

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Mr Charles posts updates everyday on Twitter regarding the latest infection rates for each country.

Yesterday, Mr Charles described the government’s move to axe Cyprus but not Germany has “bizarre”.

He said: “The @transportgovuk review adds #Cyprus #Lithuania to the #quarantine list – #Cyprus has seen a 400 percent increase in infections in the last two weeks but no mortalities since early #October.

“It’s bizarre that #UKGov thinks #Cyprus is more of a risk to Brits than #Germany.”

He also said on Twitter that the decisions made by the Joint Biosecurity Centre are now “highly questionable”.

He added: “#Germany is moving into mini-lockdown, seen a surge in infections in recent days, yet it’s deemed lower risk than #Iceland!

“And it’s indefensible that #Africa still has no travel corridor.”

He added further: “Important to note that the secretive #JointBiosecurityCentre is now ignoring the medical experts across #Europe who all agree that #Germany is in the red zone for quarantine, based on infection rates and test positivity. But apparently the #UK knows best?”

COVID-19 travel adviser and analyst Ben McCluskey also described the move as “strange”.

He said on Twitter: “Strange choice to add Cyprus to the quarantine list…

“Germany has a higher positivity rate and has seen an exponential rise in cases.

“Case growth in Cyprus has actually slowed down too.

“If Germany were added, there would be more justification to add Cyprus!”

Noel Josephides, founder of tour operator Sunvil described the latest quarantine announcement as “another nail in the coffin” for travel, according to The Guardian.

He added: “The government has known they had to do something about airport testing months ago; how they have left it so late absolutely defeats me.”

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