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Holidaymakers face scramble to return to Britain as Croatia added to quarantine list

Coronavirus rates in Portugal have fallen to 14.4 cases per 100,000 people. (PA)

2 min read

Holidaymakers in Croatia face a race to return to Britain before Saturday morning as the Government imposed fresh quarantine restrictions on those arriving from the Balkan destination.

But trips to Portugal have been once again given the green-light in the latest changes to the UK’s coronavirus self-isolation requirements.

Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago have all been struck from the quarantine-free travel list after a rise in Covid-19 cases, with all arrivals in the UK from those destinations after 4am on Saturday expected to quarantine themselves for 14 days.

Holidays to Portugal are once again deemed safe, after coronavirus rates in one of the UK’s most popular travel destinations fell to 14.4 cases per 100,000 people.

But ministers moved to take Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago off the UK’s safe travel lists after data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England showed a “significant change” in cases in all three countries.

The weekly incidence rate of cases per 100,000 in Croatia has climbed from 10.4 on 12 August to 27.4 on 19 August — an 164% increase.

Meanwhile Trinidad and Tobago has seen what the Government called a “consistent increase in the weekly incidence rate of COVID-19” over the past four weeks, as well as a 232% increase in the weekly case rate between August 12 and August 19.

For Austria, the weekly incidence rate per 100,000 people rose from from 10.5 on 13 August to 20.3 on 20 August — a 93% increase.

Speaking as the changes were announced, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps — who was forced to self-isolate when his own holiday to Spain was cut short by travel restrictions — told holidaymakers: “As with all air bridge countries, please be aware that things can change quickly. Only travel if you are content to unexpectedly 14-day quarantine if required (I speak from experience!)”

Under the Government’s quarantine policy, which has been criticised by the travel industry and some Conservative MPs, Brits are still able to travel to the destinations advised against.

But they are not allowed to leave the place they are staying for the first 14 days in which they are back in the UK.

Those who are travelling to Britain for less than two weeks are expected to self-isolate for the duration of their stay.

Fines up to £3,200 can also be imposed on anyone who does not accurately declare contact details of the place they will be staying to UK authorities.

Last week the Government removed France and Netherlands from its safe travel list, in a move that prompted an exodus of British holidaymakers keen to beat the Saturday deadline.

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