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Turkey and Poland added to quarantine list, none removed

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The Government announced this afternoon that anyone returning to England from Turkey, Poland and Bonaire / St Eustatius / Saba will need to quarantine for 14 days.

Interestingly, the rationale for removing Turkey is that the Government believes that it has not been completely honest in its reporting of covid cases.

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

No countries will be removed from the quarantine list.

Poland and Turkey removed from quarantine exemption list

These three countries will presumably soon be 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 not been updated as of 5.30pm with these changes – is on this page of the Government website.

Comments (72)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Paul says:

    If you are happy to quarantine on return from countries removed from the list, can you still fly out on holidays to these destinations? Is travel insurance still valid for example.

    • Rob says:

      You can still fly, yes.

      Your travel insurance may be invalidated once they are removed from the Foreign Office ‘safe to travel’ list. You need to look at the wording.

      • Paul says:

        Thanks for the comments. Due to be flying into Thessaloniki, mainland Greece in 3 weeks and it’s a constant uncertainty about if they will be removed next.

      • Jason says:

        Hi is there anyone providing Medical travel insurance for Dubai at the moment?
        I am due to go in 3 weeks time and happy to Quarantine on my return. I presume my platinum Amex is not going to cover me….

        • Patrycja says:

          Check out Battleface. They cover trips against FCO advice and are reasonably priced. Emirates also offer travel insurance in their tickets so might be worth checking it out if you are flying with them

    • Anon says:

      FCO advises against all but essential travel to countries not on the exemption lists.

      Your travel insurance would almost certainly be invalidated if you choose to travel to a country not on the exemption lists.

      You’d also need to check if the country you’re going to is letting foreigners in and whether there is a quarantine period for arrivals in that country.

  • PM says:

    UK 42k dead
    Poland 2k dead

    UK recession, unemployment, fear
    Poland life goes on

    • Rob says:

      To be fair, at least half the UK population has zero chance of losing their job and is better off than ever as they haven’t spent any money since March. My wife is in this category.

      The other half, which includes me, are of course in a bit of a mess ….

      If we take my golfing party from last weekend:
      Barrister – courts closed, no income at all since March
      NHS payroll manager – no impact
      Physiotherapist – no impact
      Marine biologist – no impact
      Plant scientist – no impact
      Me – substantial fall in income since March

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        The other half, which includes me, are of course in a bit of a mess ….

        If we take my golfing party from last weekend:


        • Rob says:

          £9 for a (golf) round in Bournemouth, plus the hotel on points 🙂

      • Anna says:

        Glad there were only 6 of you!

      • Jonathan says:

        Surprised any of the middle four can afford to hang out in West London or are they secret Northern friends? 😉

    • Bagoly says:

      Yes, they locked down early enough in March.
      To be fair, one should be comparing rates of infection per head next week, for which reported rates of infection recently is the best available proxy.
      On that basis, Poland has just 30% to 40% of the UK, depending on how many days back one takes.
      So yes, UK decision still somewhat daft!

  • Maciek says:

    You surely mean “self-isolation” and not “quarantine”.

  • Alex M says:

    When do you think Italy will be added to the naughty list?

    • ChrisW says:

      I would guess next Thursday, or failing that, the Thursday after.

  • Anna says:

    I would guess that there are a number of countries which haven’t been accurately reporting their infection rates. It’s highly likely that the UK figures look so bad precisely because we are amongst the most transparent nations on earth; as agreed by such organisations as Transparency International.

    • Tariq says:

      LOL or the combination of the atrocious false positive rate and double counting.

  • Jake Mc says:

    Just booked a flight to Athens on the 787 – I was unable to select the flatbeds online. Is that expected or does it mean they are all gone?

    • Anna says:

      I dont think they always use the CW cabin on short-haul routes, it depends how many pax are ultimately on board.

      • ChrisW says:

        Where do they put CE pax? In the WTP cabin??

        • Lady London says:

          yes, apparently

          cheap and mean when it wouldnt cost BA much extra to give people booked in CE, CW seats where they exist in an aircraft being used such as the 787.

          It would create more aspieational passengers who would aeek out that aircraft and book CW longhaul once having tried the seats.

          But it seems BA is making a practice of cheaping out on this too….

    • babyg says:

      I think its because BA need to check you have filled in the correct paperwork (Passenger Locator Form) to enter Greece before you are permitted to board, had a friend turn up for a flight to Santorini without having filled this in, he was denied boarding.

  • Anonymous says:

    The reason Turkey has been added to the quarantine list today is that the Turkish Health Minister finally admitted yesterday that the “Daily Number of Covid Patients” announced by the government includes only hospitalizations and not all Covid-positive cases. This change was made back on July 28, and the government finally had to own up to it yesterday after immense pressure from the Doctors’ Union. The best estimate is that the actual number of new cases is 19-20 times higher than the official count (approx. 30K/day, rather than ~1500).

  • ChrisW says:

    I wonder if the higher the UK new infections get, the less likely the Government will be to place foreign countries on the quarantine list?

    The UK is now around 3x higher than their threshold to place other countries on the list. Technically, all of the UK should be in quarantine (lockdown) with those numbers!

    What is the risk of someone arriving from a country with a third of the rates the UK has??

    • John says:

      The risk is that they have it and can spread it around. It’s more risky for the arriving passenger personally once they come to the UK, but if they have it they have still added to the UK’s number of infected.

      • ChrisW says:

        They don’t “have it” – 99% of people arriving on planes into the UK from say Poland or Turkey won’t have it.

        If a country has a third of the new rates than the UK you could argue you are safest in that foreign country compared with staying home in the UK!

    • Peter K says:

      The UK governments have little control over what someone does abroad. They have more control if the person stays in the UK.

    • Graeme says:

      The idea is that they may have a lower rate of infection than we do, but that doesn’t make it good. We have to deal with our cases so importing more is a bad move.

      • SammyJ says:

        If I spend the weekend in Gdansk though, it’ll just be the two of us in a place with a low number of cases. If I can’t do that I’ll either end up in the local pub where half the village will also be (in groups of 6, of course), or in London/York/anywhere else busy and allegedly full of far more Covid that Poland. I don’t see how getting people away from it for a few days causes more risk than cramming everyone in.

        • PM says:

          This is not about public health – the government has zero control over the situation.

          It is all to feed the narrative of: our virus is good, the foreign one is bad. It is to show how decisive the government is, this country added to the list, that country, self isolations, quarantines, rules of six.

          It is all to create the noise to silence questions about the test and trace disaster. Testing and contact tracing have been the main tools agreed over the years of modelling to deal with pandemics. WHO has been saying since March: test, test, test.

          There is some truth in thinking that keeping citizens within the country has some financial benefits as they spend their money locally rather than abroad. The price to pay is a collapse of travel industries, job losses, mental health issues.

          No one fully understands all the current rules and regulations. They are changing all the time and differ locally. No one really knows how decisions are made and why.

          WHO and other countries keep saying test, test, test and trace. We say do not get tested unless you have symptoms. If you get tested and you are positive, you are on your own, negotiate with your employer, use up your savings, risk 10k fine.

          Since March we have not managed to kick start any meaningful tracing system.

          We might be the best in blacklisting other countries and territories but the irony is we are in a much worse situation ourselves. The problem is UK was supposed to be the best prepared to handle any pandemic of all countries, our pockets are deeper than others, our scientists and universities much greater.

          Poland 2k deaths
          UK 42k deaths

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