You must now quarantine on return from Italy - plus the other countries removed from UK travel corridor list

Friday, 16th October 2020, 9:07 am

Italy, San Marino and Vatican City State have lost their exemptions from the UK’s quarantine requirements for international arrivals, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

The new rules come into force at 4am on Sunday 18 October, and apply to travellers returning to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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At the time of writing, Wales has not announced any similar measures, although it will likely do so.

Why has Italy been taken off the travel corridor list?

Italy recorded its highest daily number of coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with 7,332. This brings its seven-day rate of cases per 100,000 people to 64.

San Marino, one of the world’s smallest countries, is landlocked within the north east of Italy. Vatican City State, home of the Catholic Pope, lies within Italy’s capital, Rome.

The UK’s case rate currently stands at 166. A rate of 20 is the threshold above which the Government considers triggering quarantine conditions.

Figures have been calculated by the PA news agency based on data collected by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Do I have to quarantine when I travel to Italy?

Last week Italy introduced compulsory coronavirus testing for arriving UK visitors.

Arrivals from European countries such as the UK, France and Spain must provide evidence of a negative test taken in the 72 hours prior to travel.

Visitors unable to provide proof of a negative result at the border have to take a test in Italy.

What does it mean for the travel industry?

(Photo: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)

The removal of Italy’s exemption is a further blow to the UK’s travel industry, as it was one of its last big markets without a quarantine requirement for returning holidaymakers.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel said: “The Government’s travel corridors system has all but collapsed, with most destinations now removed from the list and holidaymakers with trips booked to Italy for half-term facing the potentially lengthy and stressful process of trying to claw their money back from their airline or travel provider.”

He added: “The travel industry is in dire need of urgent targeted support if it is to survive the winter months.”

On Wednesday, Mark Tanzer, chief executive of travel trade organisation Abta, expressed fears that more travel firms could go bust in just weeks due to the pandemic.

He said at least 20 travel companies with UK operations have already collapsed since March.

What countries have been added to the travel corridor list?

It's not all bad news.

The Greek island of Crete will be added to the exemption list for people arriving in England or Northern Ireland as the risk to public health from those returning from there “has decreased to an acceptable level”, the DfT said.

It means that from 4am on Sunday, passengers arriving in England or Northern Ireland from Crete will no longer need to self-isolate, provided they have not been in or transited through any other non-exempt countries in the 14 days prior to their arrival.

At the time of writing, passengers arriving in Wales or Scotland from Crete will still have to self-isolate.