People arriving into the UK from Turkey and Poland from tomorrow will be expected to self-isolate from tomorrow, as the countries are removed from the quarantine safelist.
Travellers from Spain, France, Portugal and parts of Greece are also currently expected to isolate for 14-days, meaning very few options remain open to holiday travellers.
Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba have also been declared dangerous for British visitors, with those returning from the Caribbean destinations now needing to self-isolate for two weeks.
At the same time, the penalties issued to people who breach self-isolation after returning from a non-exempt country will increase.
The penalties, which mirror those recently announced for those breaching self-isolation following a positive Covid-19 test or contact from Test & Trace, will now increase incrementally for repeat offenders – rising from £1,000 for first offences up to £10,000 for subsequent offences.
Commenting on the latest additions, an ABTA spokesperson said: “The removal of Turkey and Poland from the travel corridors list is a massive blow for the travel industry.
“This coupled with popular winter-sun destinations, like the Canary Islands, still on the quarantine list only piles the pressure on a struggling sector.
“Many travel businesses are in precarious position and will find it difficult to survive unless the government acts now with tailored support to assist the travel industry.”
Data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England has indicated a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Poland, Bonaire, and St Eustatius and Saba, leading to ministers removing these from the current list of travel corridors.
A range of factors are taken into account when deciding to remove a country from the exemption list, including the continued increase of coronavirus within a country, the numbers of new cases, information on a testing capacity, testing regime and test positivity rate and potential trajectory of the disease in the coming weeks.
The Turkish Health Ministry has said it has been defining the number of new Covid-19 cases in a different way to the definition used by international organisations such as WHO and ECDC, meaning that the risk assessment for the country has been updated to reflect the likely impact of this on the data for incidence and test positivity rates.
At the same time, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to Poland and Turkey.
The FCDO already advises against all but essential travel to Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba.
People currently in Turkey, Poland, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba are encouraged to follow the local rules and check the FCDO travel advice pages for further information.
The government is urging employers to be understanding of those returning from these destinations who now will need to self-isolate.