Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Denmark, Slovakia, Iceland and Curacao added to quarantine list (none removed)

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

The Government announced this afternoon that anyone returning to England from Denmark, Slovakia, Iceland and Curacao will need to quarantine for 14 days.

The quarantine requirement will kick in from 4am on Saturday morning.   

Denmark added to England quarantine list

No countries will be removed from the quarantine list.

These four countries have also been removed from the list of countries excempt from the Foreign Office ‘do not travel’ list (click here). This is usually the trigger for being to abandon your holiday plans and make a successful travel insurance claim.

The official ‘travel corridor’ list – which has already been updated with these changes – is on this page of the Government website.

Comments (42)

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Brilliant.

    UK has a higher prevalence than half the globe but still have to quarantine.

  • letBAgonesbe says:

    I am about to book a trip to Athens.
    Fly out this Sunday and coming back on Friday.

    This way even if Greece is added to the quarantine list on Thursday, we could still return before it comes into effect on Saturday.

    My only worry is that, whilst the changes normally announced on Thursdays, the Greek islands were announced on a different day (Tuesday I believe), which suggest that anything could happen, anytime.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Do it. Do it for all of us who have tried and failed! Live your best life and go down swinging.

    • Jake Mc says:

      I read somewhere on the govt website that it could happen at anytime but it would be unlucky to say the least

    • S says:

      Yep that’s my concern. Usually announcements on Thursday with effect from 4am on Saturday, but the Greek Island announcements were mid week with much shorter notice period

    • Yvo says:

      On the spur of the moment I booked Athens on Monday and flew out this morning. 8:40 from Heathrow was packed.
      Currently looking at the Acropolis from the hotel rooftop bar. Had quarantine come in – it would have been worth it. Athens is busy but everyone is masked indoors and mostly outdoors too.

      • Callum says:

        You should see Athens during a normal summer – it seems pretty dead now to me in comparison. Which actually makes it a great time to visit!

        • Yvo says:

          Callum, that was exactly my thinking, see the city when it’s not as crazy. I did a food tour last night and the guide was almost in tears about the low level of government support for freelancers and lack of tourists.
          Said people from the UK, France and Germany are still visiting with a trickle from Canada but testing rules from other areas make it impossible for most holidaymakers.

    • Anon says:

      I’d say go for it but make sure your travel insurance covers you in case of COVID related issues.

      Regarding quarantine on the way back. It’s unenforced. So long as you don’t go round infecting everyone with the virus deliberately youThe only problem
      you might have is with your employer. If they become aware that you breached quarantine they’d be within their rights to sack you.

      • Nick_C says:

        “The only problem you might have is with your employer.”

        Or with law abiding friends, co-workers, or family, who are concerned about the devastating damage this pandemic is causing and who don’t condone Criminal behaviour – even from those they love or are close to.

        • Anna says:

          Quite – and I’m pretty sure your employer has a legal duty to report it if you return to work before your quarantine period is up. I mentioned yesterday press reports of people being fined £1k for breaching quaranting, they were both school workers for heaven’s sake – pretty sure they would have been reported by colleagues or parents. I would hope the employer is also looking at disciplinary measures.

        • Anon says:

          I think your comment sums up what the government is hoping. They hope that 90% of those who have to quarantine will do so because they think it’s the responsible thing to do and they fear the consequences of breaking the rules abd that those who choose to breach quarantine will do so in only a small and discreet way. If 90% do the quarantine then the policy has a chance of achieving its purpose. In reality there aren’t really any consequences, certainly not for a minor breach. Also, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when the human rights lawyers pick apart these rules and find they breach basic freedoms etc and the government is forced to repay all the fines whether people sacked for breaching quarantine will get their jobs back.

          • Anna says:

            Only public sector employers are covered by Human Rights legislation, and disciplinary procedures are entirely separate from criminal proceedings.

          • Anon says:

            So if you work in the private sector, you have no human rights? I don’t think so.

  • Travel Strong says:

    Booked LHR-SLC for April
    Flight cancelled, changed to September
    Flight cancelled, changed to BRS-AMS-SLC
    Flight cancelled, changed to BRS-AMS-BUD
    Flight cancelled, changed to LTN-BTS in Slovakia.
    I was in the clear with 65hrs til boarding!

    Whats the next doomed move? 😅

  • Anon says:

    There is no quarantine list. There is an exemption list.

    Interesting that Iceland has been removed from the exemption list given their much lauded ‘test all arrivals at the airport’ strategy. There’s things about how this virus travels that we still don’t understand.

    • Paul Pogba says:

      I think we’ve known for a while that you can be incubating after exposure and get a negative test results (and get positive results due to dead/inactive cells after recovery). It’s probably telling us there are no shortcuts if you really want to stop outbreaks.

      If travel keeps being deferred and deterred I’m starting to think the Treasury will have to draw up a plan for a British Leyland style airline group. I’m sure it will be superb without all that inefficient competition.

      • Anon says:

        Iceland’s infection rate has shot up to 90.5 per 100 000. However, given that country’s small population it represents less than 400 cases. That includes travellers testing positive in their compulsory test at arrival. I’ve no idea if arriving travellers represents much of Iceland’s total.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      Iceland’s strategy was working quite well until they expanded the no test list from Greenland and the Faroes to include Germany and Norway. Since the second test was introduced 25 active cases have been found which had sneaked past the first test. There have been a total of 127 active cases from over 147000 border tests. They always knew it wasn’t foolproof, but it was a way of opening up travel again and limiting transmission. Yes they have 91.1 per 100000 domestic cases in the last 14 days (border screening 4.1), but with one person in hospital they are not doing too bad at the mo. Covid.is has all the data, it’s an interesting read.

  • Anon says:

    This link is quite helpful to understand why countries are being removed from the exemption list at least for European countries.

    https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/cases-2019-ncov-eueea
    The 4th column is the key. Cases in the last two weeks per 100 000. Once that number goes over 40 for a country then that’s critical in that country being removed from the list. Slovakia has just crept slightly over 40 so its removal seems harsh given the situation in the UK currently.

    However, that is not the only criteria being considered and ultimately the four governments have discretion in which countries are removed or added to the exemption list. There’s also politics. If a country has imposed a particularly harsh policy on arrivals from the UK or if a country’s data is thought to be unreliable that might lead to that country being removed from
    the exemption list. That tends not to be the case with European countries however. Finland and Norway have imposed harsh restrictions on arrivals since early in the pandemic but both remain on the exemption list presumably because they’re considered reliable countries that have kept the virus at low levels.

  • Anon says:

    Incidentally, is there any scientific evidence that these quarantines are making any difference? Doesn’t look like it.

    • Nick_C says:

      Yes – look at the data for New Zealand.

      • Anon says:

        New Zealand has gone the extra step and banned all foreigners as well as imposing quarantine on their own citizens arriving from abroad. Donald Trump banned most foreigners from the US early in the pandemic and it seemed to make little difference.

        Likewise Russia imposed a two week quarantine on all foreign arrivals early in the pandemic but it didn’t make much difference.

        The UK imposed quarantines a while ago now but it hasn’t stopped the second wave.

        The evidence is sketchy to say the least.

        • Renaud says:

          Quarantine makes no difference in countries that don’t have other properly enforced measures (restrictions, social distancing and PPE, test-and-trace…), which is pretty much the whole world today.

  • patrick C says:

    As said before, absolutely useless measure, besides crippling UK tourism nothing has been achieved.
    Your infection risk depends on what you do not where you do it…
    I.e. pubbing in the UK is just as dangerous as in Portugal….