Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Singapore, Thailand now on British no-quarantine list

Lack of UK airport testing means quarantine still the only option for travellers from high-risk countries.

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Travellers arriving in the UK from Singapore and Thailand will no longer need to quarantine from Saturday morning.

The British government has added both to the list of “travel corridor” countries because of their success at combatting Covid-19.

There is no indication of when Malaysia, which sits between Thailand and Singapore, bordering both, may get the nod from the government and be awarded a place on the no-quarantine list.

The list is always in flux. When a country’s rate rises, the UK government considers imposing quarantine restrictions.

Last week, Portugal was put back on the list after a rise in infections while Sweden was made exempt from quarantine because of improved numbers.

As the two Southeast Asian nations are removed, two other countries have been added: Slovenia and Guadeloupe.

The British Department for Transport (DfT) said there had been “a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus” in both countries.

Travellers arriving from Guadeloupe, a Caribbean overseas region of France, will have to self-isolate for two weeks because their infection rate has risen more than six-fold in the past four weeks, the DfT said.

Recent data from Slovenia, a central European neighbour of Italy, also showed an alarming surge in infections, enough to attract the DfT’s attentions.

The DfT statement gave no update on the possible introduction of testing at airports as a way of reducing the need for quarantine for travellers. The UK travel industry is demanding this as the only realistic way to avoid further job losses.

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