British vacationers have seen them climb into airports in Croatia to get home before facing a two-week quarantine on their return to the UK.
In scenes similar to those seen at French airports and ferry terminals last week, tourists were spotted in numbers at Croatia's Split airport yesterday as the rush begins to come home by the deadline on Saturday.
There are currently around 20,000 British tourists in Croatia.
The pictures were taken hours after the British government announced that Croatia, along with Austria and Trinidad, would be removed from the quarantine-free travel list – meaning tourists will have to be quarantined for a fortnight on their return.
The decision is made after an increase in cases in each of the three countries.
Portugal has now been added to the list, which means that quarantined tourists can travel to popular holiday destinations such as the Algarve from Saturday.
But yesterday, Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps warned vacationers "only travel if you are happy with an unexpected quarantine" after he himself was caught quickly changing its advice on traveling to Spain while on vacation.
Split Airport in Croatia was busy last night as the fight to return to the UK began before the quarantine hit
There are currently around 20,000 British tourists in Croatia. You have until 4am on Saturday to return to the UK or face a two-week quarantine
The pictures were taken hours after the UK government announced that Croatia, along with Austria and Trinidad, would be removed from the quarantine-free travel list – meaning tourists will be forced to quarantine on their return
The decision is made after an increase in cases in each of the three countries. Pictured: Passengers waiting to check-in at Split Airport
Referring to his own experience of facing a two-week quarantine when his department suddenly quarantined Spain in July, Mr Shapps warned that any airlift could be canceled at short notice.
In a tweet today announcing that Croatia, Austria and Trinidad would be put on the government's 'red list' and Portugal removed, Shapps said, "Data shows that we have Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago off our list have to delete list of #coronavirus travel corridors to keep infection rates low.
Airfares to Portugal rocket SIXFOLD just hours after the country was removed from the quarantine list
Fares from the UK to Portugal have risen six times just a few hours after the government announced that it was building an airlift to the popular holiday destination.
Average prices for Faro – the airport used by holidaymakers in the Algarve – rose from just £ 35 to £ 190 in the hours following today's announcement by Transport Minister Grant Shapps.
A website showed that a BA flight ticket from London to Faro had risen from £ 90 to £ 580 in one day – claiming it had been cut from £ 594.
MailOnline's Google search also found a BA round trip from London to Faro, which departed this Saturday – the day the quarantine rule for Portugal is lifted – and returned next Saturday, costing £ 1,069.
London to Faro prices have also increased this Sunday, while flights to Lisbon, another popular city break destination, have also increased from around £ 55 to £ 185 since the announcement, according to Google.
One angry vacation hope said on Twitter: "And immediately vacation prices to Portugal are going up!"
& # 39; If you come to the UK from these destinations after 4:00 on Saturday, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
& # 39; Data also shows we can now add Portugal to the countries included in travel corridors.
“Please note that, as in all airlift countries, things can change quickly. Only travel if you are happy with an unexpected 14-day quarantine (I speak from experience!). & # 39;
As the Transport Minister said today, spikes in infection in the three countries added to the quarantine list meant that they could no longer be treated as safe targets.
Figures released by the Ministry of Transport (DfT) show that the weekly incidence (cases) per 100,000 for Croatia increased from 10.4 on August 12 to 27.4 on August 19, an increase of 164%.
Over the same period, the weekly incidence in Trinidad and Tobago rose 232% per 100,000, while Austria saw a 93% increase between August 13 and 20 (from 10.5 per 100,000 to 20.3).
However, Mr Shapps said the latest data showed Portugal can now be re-added to the safe list of countries people can travel to without being quarantined for 14 days on their return.
The updated travel advice will take effect from 4 a.m. on Saturday of this weekend.
Prices for flights from quarantine countries rose after Mr Shapps' announcement. British Airways advertised tickets for an early Friday morning flight between Zagreb, Croatia to London for 308 euros (£ 276) in economy class.
The airline also advertised an economy seat on a flight from Vienna to London Heathrow for 538 euros on Thursday evening.
Today's Portuguese tour guides welcomed the move to include Portgual on the Quarantine Free List as "useful for anyone traveling between Portugal and the UK".
In a tweet, the Portuguese Foreign Ministry said: “This decision is proof of the good result of intensive bilateral work.
"It provided an understanding that the situation in the country was always under control, with Portugal being considered one of the European countries with more tests, fewer deaths and fewer hospital stays."
Grant Shapps announced today that Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago have been added to the government's quarantine list
The UK has 1,182 more Covid-19 cases as the moving average increases slightly after four consecutive days
The UK recorded 1,182 more Covid-19 cases today as government figures showed the rolling average number of daily infections increased slightly after four consecutive days.
Health Department data released this afternoon showed an average of 1,051 Britons currently test positive for the life-threatening disease every day.
For comparison, the moving average was 1,043 yesterday and has been down every day since August 15, when the number hit a six-week high of 1,097.
However, this does not necessarily mean that the infections are on the rise again and can simply be an error in the data. The infection rates in the coming days will help paint a better picture of the virus' current trajectory.
Daily infections had risen steadily since the beginning of July after “Super Saturday” – the first major loosening of the lockdown, which top scientists had warned against, would inevitably trigger an increase in certain cases. It got Boris Johnson to hit the brake pedal when he reopened parts of the economy late last month.
But cAsinos, bowling alleys and beauticians were finally allowed to reopen this week after No. 10 became confident that Britain is not headed for another crisis reminiscent of the darkest days of the first wave in April.
Neither hospital admissions nor deaths – two other methods health bosses use to track the disease – ever rose in line with cases, giving experts confidence that infections were only ever on the rise as more testing was done in badly affected areas like the northwest were.
England also announced today six more deaths from Covid-19 – the official number of victims since the pandemic started at 41,403. In contrast, 16 deaths were reported across the UK yesterday and 18 deaths last Thursday.
On average, only eight infected patients succumb to the disease every day – for the first time since the lockdown was introduced on March 23, the rolling average has fallen to single-digit values.
Meanwhile consumer group Which? The change in the rules for Portugal "probably came too late to help many struggling vacation companies".
Which? Tour guide Rory Boland told the BBC that the government had "now made it clear that countries can be removed from or added to the list of travel corridors at any time".
He said, "This policy currently makes it too risky for anyone who is unable to be quarantined for 14 days on their return to go abroad anywhere."
“However, for those vacationers who wish to heed the government's warning not to make non-essential trips to Spain, France and now Croatia and Austria, it is becoming increasingly difficult to claim a refund.
He added: "Portugal's addition will likely come too late to help many struggling vacation companies that are on the verge of collapse as summer trips have already been canceled."
Following the announcement, the vacation companies Jet2.com and Jet2holidays announced that they would resume their flight and vacation program to Faro in the Portuguese Algarve from Monday.
There will then be several weekly flights departing from all nine British bases.
The move to include Croatia in the quarantine list comes after speculation by the mountains that the Mediterranean country will be added to the so-called “Red List” of Great Britain this week after an increase in the number of cases.
Experts currently say that there are around 20,000 British tourists in Croatia.
Darija Reic, the UK representative for the Croatian Tourism Association, said it was "very disappointing" to put Croatia on the quarantine list, while Mato Frankovic, Mayor of Dubrovnik, a popular destination for British tourists, said the city is still safe for them Tourists.
He told Sky News, "I hope the British citizens who want to come to Dubrovnik still do and I want to send a very strong message that Dubrovnik is a COVID safe city."
He added that tourists started canceling hotel room bookings in the city as soon as the quarantine was announced.
Meanwhile, expectations rose for all non-essential travel to the country, which was banned this morning after the World Health Organization declared the Balkans region was a "hotspot" for coronavirus.
WHO said the Balkans had been a "concern of ours" since early June as the number of cases increased, and urged the region to take additional measures to nip the transmission in the bud.
Mr Shapps said ministers and officials considered a number of factors when deciding which countries to include on the quarantine list.
The vacation companies Jet2.com and Jet2holidays announced that they will resume their flight and vacation program to Faro in the Portuguese Algarve from Monday
In a tweet, the Portuguese Foreign Ministry said: “This decision is proof of the good result of intensive bilateral work.
He said they included the estimated prevalence of COVID-19 in one country; the extent and rate of change in the incidence of confirmed positive cases; the extent of testing in a country, the testing regime and test positivity; the extent to which cases can be explained by a contained outbreak as opposed to more general community transmission; Government action; and other relevant epidemiological information ”.
The decision to require travelers returning from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago to self-isolate for 14 days came when Germany, France, Italy and Spain all reported their highest levels of coronavirus infections in months, raising concerns that a second wave could enter the continent.
Germany recorded 1,707 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest daily number since April, while French authorities said "transmission of the virus is increasing".
Spain has set a new daily record for Covid-19 cases since the country emerged from a three-month lockdown in mid-June.
Dr. Catherine Smallwood said at a WHO press conference this morning, "The situation in the Balkans has been a concern of ours since early June, when the number of cases increased, and it was a very subregional hotspot over the summer."
She added, “We really need communities that take this into account and take the appropriate steps, both at the country level and in terms of basic contact tracing, case identification and isolation, and testing the systems that need to be in place.
"And then, where there are hotspots and increased transmission, additional, targeted measures must be taken very quickly to nip the transmission in the bud, stop its spread and keep the transmission level at a controllable level."
Croatia has seen a surge in coronavirus cases over the past week, and yesterday the Adriatic nation released numbers that almost hit their highest point in August.
The numbers were closely monitored by the Ministry of Transport and the Foreign Office.
Croatia currently has a cumulative rate of 27.4 cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days.
The UK government has set a threshold for introducing quarantine restrictions at 20 cases per 100,000.
Fears have been expressed that as the number of cases increases, Greece could also be included in the prohibited list, but is still below the threshold at 14.3 cases per 100,000.
The updated travel advice came as there were signs of a possible second coronavirus wave on the continent.
Germany has so far fared better than many of its European neighbors in suppressing the virus, but like elsewhere, its number of cases has increased significantly during the summer holidays.
Much of the increase was attributed to returning vacationers as well as parties and family gatherings.
The latest figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases bring the number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic to 228,621.
It is bringing the daily toll back to levels not seen since the end of April, when the pandemic was viewed as at its peak.
The UK government remains under heavy pressure to relax its 14-day quarantine rules.
Airlines and the travel industry believe that the restrictions could be lifted by introducing coronavirus tests on arrival at airports.
This would result in travelers being asked to self-isolate until they get their test results, with a negative test and a follow-up exam a few days later so they can go back to normal life.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that ministers are working with Heathrow Airport to find a way for coronavirus testing to reduce quarantine time.
He told Sky News: & # 39; We are working with Heathrow and other airports on this project.
“The challenge is that the virus can incubate in your body without reporting and without a test being positive, even if you have it.
"The challenge is to run these tests in such a way that we have enough confidence to go into quarantine."
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