Coronavirus: UK puts Belgium, Andorra and Bahamas on quarantine list

August 06, 2020

Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra have been added to the UK's coronavirus quarantine list, after a spike in cases in the affected countries.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted that people arriving in the UK from those countries after 4am on Saturday would need to self-isolate for 14 days.

He said: "Data shows we need to remove Andorra, Belgium and the Bahamas from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors in order to keep infection rates DOWN."

The Foreign Office has advised Britons against all but essential travel to those three nations.

The latest move comes after a meeting of all four UK countries to consider the public health risk from increasing COVID-19 cases in some areas.

Meanwhile, travellers from Brunei and Malaysia arriving in the UK will be exempt from quarantine measures after cases in the two nations decreased.

The changes for Brunei and Malaysia - meaning they will be added to a list of travel corridors - will come into force in Wales from midnight on Friday, and from 4am next Tuesday in England and Scotland.

Belgium has suffered a four-fold increase in infections since mid-July, with latest figures showing 27.8 new cases per 100,000 people.

This is much higher than the UK's current 8.4, and is also above the 27.4 number that Spain had when the UK last month reimposed quarantine rules on arrivals from there.

Last week, Belgium's prime minister Sophie Wilmes introduced drastic new social distancing measures in the hope of avoiding a new national lockdown.

She announced a plan to limit contacts outside every household to the same five people for a month to limit the spread of the virus.

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In Andorra, new cases per week have increased five-fold since mid-July, while in The Bahamas the weekly case rate peaked at 78.6 last week, up from 3.1 in mid-July.

In France, new infections have risen by more than 1,600 over a 24-hour period for a second day.

Some 1,604 cases were reported on Thursday, slightly down on Wednesday's 1,695, but still not far from the 1,828 figure recorded on 30 May. The total number of cases in France is 195,633.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned last month there are "signs of a second wave" of COVID-19 brewing in Europe.

But the World Health Organisation says such talk is unhelpful, with a spokesperson insisting: "We are in the first wave. It's going to be one big wave."

Quarantine rules were brought in across the UK at the start of June, meaning anyone arriving in the country had to self-isolate for two weeks.

A list of low-risk countries where levels of coronavirus are lower was drawn up, but several have since been taken off it, including Spain and Luxembourg.

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