ENTERTAINMENT

Fears are growing that Croatia will be redlisted, but the airport test could change the game


The British face a desperate battle to get home from Greece and Croatia as fears continue to grow that European nations could be placed on the red list of quarantine within days.

In Greece, the number of new cases has risen significantly – from 202 last week to 226 yesterday – while Croatia exceeded the UK government's quarantine benchmark of 20 cases per 100,000 people in seven days.

Fears that countries could be put on the quarantine list stem from ministers desperately trying to control the spread of the pandemic and a possible second wave.

Croatia is expected to be placed on the government quarantine 'red list' within days of a surge in cases

An estimated 500,000 ran home from France before the 4 a.m. quarantine deadline, announced barely 30 hours earlier

An estimated 500,000 ran home from France before the 4 a.m. quarantine deadline, announced barely 30 hours earlier

Current infection rates in Europe

Cyprus 23.7

Spain 115.7

Luxembourg 121.2

Malta 98.7

Romania 88.9

Belgium 63.1

Netherlands 44.6

France 41.2

Poland 25.7

Lithuania 10.5

Liechtenstein 10.4

Slovakia 9.5

Italy 9.3

Estonia 8.5

Latvia 4

Hungary 3.6

Sweden 37.8

Bulgaria 35.7

Czech representation 30

Iceland 29.7

Croatia 29.3

Denmark 29.2

Portugal 26

Austria 22.4

Ireland 22.1

Greece 21.2

UK 18.6

Germany 16.3

Norway 12

Slovenia 11.1

Finland 5

It also comes amid growing anger over the shambolic way the government handled travel rules during the pandemic.

Ministers are urged to replace the catastrophic 14-day quarantine system at airports with a "game-changer" virus test before more countries are added to the red list.

Other vacation destinations could also be added if – like Spain and France – they suddenly have a second surge in infections that catches travelers unexpectedly.

An estimated 500,000 ran home from France before the 4 a.m. quarantine deadline, announced barely 30 hours earlier.

Previously, ministers had encouraged people to go on vacation to places like Spain and France as a return to normal life.

But hundreds of thousands of travelers were then caught when the rules changed while they were away and required a 14-day quarantine on their return.

Proposals that Greece and Turkey could be put on the red list were rejected by experts in the travel industry. However, such reports have added further confusion as to what hit the bookings.

There is also hope that Portugal, where infection rates are falling, will be removed from the red list this week.

But Croatia has now exceeded the UK government's quarantine mark of 20 cases per 100,000 people in a seven-day period by 21.5.

Croatia has now passed the UK government's quarantine mark of 20 cases per 100,000 people in seven days - at 21.5

Croatia has now passed the UK government's quarantine mark of 20 cases per 100,000 people in seven days – at 21.5

Other nations like Denmark and Switzerland are also dangerously close to reaching this border.

To avoid further confusion and disruption, travel industry experts are calling on the UK to adopt £ 50 tests that have been introduced at airports in Iceland.

Proponents of the tests say it would open up international travel, trust vacationers, and drastically reduce the scars on the industry and economy as a whole.

EU figures show that the Greek infection rate has quadrupled in two weeks and has exceeded the benchmark of 20 Covid cases per 100,000 people

EU figures show that the Greek infection rate has quadrupled in two weeks and has exceeded the benchmark of 20 Covid cases per 100,000 people

Returning to the UK: No walking or business with the dog

British vacationers returning from France must go to the supermarket before coming home under strict quarantine rules.

Also, under hardline regulations, they should not walk their dogs and instead ask neighbors to help them while they stay 14 days.

A government told the Telegraph that if there is no way to get food, people should stop at the supermarket on their way home from the airport.

Travelers to Iceland have the option to pre-book the swab test on arrival instead of being quarantined for 14 days.

These visitors must self-isolate for five days before they can take a second free test at a medical center. When both are clear, the individual can return to normal life.

These visitors must self-isolate for five days before they can take a second free test at a medical center. When both are clear, the individual can return to normal life.

The net effect of the system is to reduce the total quarantine to less than seven days.

At the weekend it turned out that experts from the Sage Committee had proposed exactly this idea of ​​two tests for people from Red List countries to the British government two months ago.

Protocols from the Scientific Advisory Group indicate that they asked Public Health England to consider a double-checking policy.

The plan would have allowed people to end the quarantine within a week.

… but we were hindered by a dog!

Garden designer Faith Ramsay's husband and son flew back from her vacation in Siena, Italy, when France was quarantined.

But when they took their dog Ellie on the trip, the 49-year-old had no choice but to drive 900 miles through France with ten-year-old daughter Lara.

Faith Ramsay, 49, had to drive 900 miles from Siena, Italy through France with her dog Ellie and ten-year-old daughter Lara

Faith Ramsay, 49, had to drive 900 miles from Siena, Italy through France with her dog Ellie and ten-year-old daughter Lara

When they got to Calais on time, it looked like the family – from Swallowfield, near Reading – would make it.

But last minute complications thwarted her plan when British veterinarians told her she couldn't bring Ellie in – because the dog hadn't been given a worm tablet. "I've been driving for 15 hours in a row but now it's apparently all in vain because there isn't a deworming pill that I didn't even know we needed," she told the Sunday Times.

However, no test measures were taken.

Heathrow has run trials where arrivals have the option to pay £ 150 for two tests.

PC Agency travel expert Paul Charles called the current system "ridiculous".

He suggested that the government adopt and subsidize the Icelandic testing system to bring the cost down to £ 50.

"We have to get this system to the UK as soon as possible," he said. “We cannot continue this 14 day quarantine system that is not working and is scary for consumers who are losing money.

“Adopting this Icelandic system here would be a cornerstone. It is far better than the damage and scars that quarantine measures are causing to the economy. & # 39;

He added: “Other countries appear to be far more advanced in dealing with the virus. The £ 50 tests would save the entire travel sector and allow businesses and others to move around freely.

& # 39; In the UK alone, three million travel and hospitality jobs are at risk. Now is the time to change course. & # 39;

Mr Charles turned down reports over the weekend to add Greece and Turkey to the red list.

& # 39; You are nowhere near added. No chance at all, ”he said.

He said the 7-day figure for Greece was 13.4 infections per 100,000 people, and Turkey was 10.3 – compared to 11.0 here.

Italy seems like the safest option right now at just 5.5.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps has questioned the value of airport testing but has suggested reviewing the idea.

On Friday, he said, "Testing on return is something we've always said we'd keep a very close eye on the science related to these things."

He said doing a single test – instead of two – would detect only 7 percent of cases.

We made it back in 2 minutes

Bernard Rust and his partner Sarah Holloway barely struck the clock with relief – their car rolled off a ferry in Newhaven in just two minutes.

Financial advisor Rust, 60, who stayed in La Rochelle for a week, said it was lucky he had already been booked to get back on the ferry from Dieppe in time.

It arrived so that he could leave at 3:58 a.m.

Bernard Rust and his partner Sarah Holloway made it back from France in just two minutes

Bernard Rust and his partner Sarah Holloway made it back from France in just two minutes

"We knew it should be back by 4am, but what if we're a minute late?" he told the mail on Sunday.

"I called the government Covid hotline and asked them what it means to be in the UK – does it mean to be in UK waters? They said it means when I'm in the UK region. They didn't seem to have a satisfactory answer and didn't reassure us. & # 39;

East Sussex Mr Rust called other ferry companies to try an earlier crossing but found they were fully booked.

He had no choice but to proceed with his booking – and keep his fingers crossed.

"I usually try to get a few hours of sleep but there was no chance," he said after arriving in the UK just in time.

I continued to the upper deck to see if I could see land, and finally at 3:30 am I could see Newhaven Harbor.

& # 39; I thought & # 39; Blimey, we will make it & # 39;. & # 39;