Coronavirus: Where can you travel to in Europe without the risk of quarantine on your return?

Coronavirus: Where can you travel to in Europe without the risk of quarantine on your return?

The number of destinations Britons can jet off to is constantly changing, with the government now putting Portugal and Hungary on the list of countries subject to quarantine restrictions.

People began taking advantage of travel corridors – meaning they do not have to self-isolate for a fortnight on their return – as a way to take a break abroad, despite the threat of  coronavirus .

Access to some countries have been granted, including Sweden this week, while others have been added to the banned list, including French Polynesia and Reunion.

Earlier this week, seven Greek islands were added to the banned list, while the Czech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland were added last weekend.

According to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, the government is making quarantine decisions based on – among other things – whether the weekly infection rate per 100,000 is higher than 20.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government would “be absolutely ruthless” about such measures, “even with our closest and dearest friends and partners” – such as  France   and   Spain , which are now both on the quarantine list.

Sky News has looked at the data to see which countries you could still travel to – and which ones may be taken off the UK’s safe list next.

At the start of September, there were 20 European countries already above the government’s self-imposed threshold, while Ireland had a weekly rate close to 20 per 100,000.

However, the weekly  COVID-19 infection rate was still below that rate in around 20 nations and poses less of a threat to British travellers.

But the weekly rate is not the only indicator the government is using.

Public Health England (PHE) told Sky News the risk assessment for each country is considered on an individual basis, and the weekly rate is weighted against several other factors.

These include trends in incidence and deaths, prevalence, and information on a country’s testing capacity and positive test rate.

Government actions, the extent to which cases can be accounted for by a contained outbreak as opposed to more general transmission in the community, and an assessment of the quality of the data available will also each be taken into account.

Looking at trends, the number of cases is rising in many European countries. However, Spain, Germany, Poland, some Scandanavian countries and a few eastern European countries have reduced their rates.

PHE said the positive test rate – the proportion of tests with a positive result – is another crucial measure to understand the pandemic in each country.

A high positive rate might indicate that the cases found are just a proportion of all the cases in the country, but a rising trend in the positive rate might suggest that the virus is spreading faster.

According to the World Health Organisation, a positive rate of less than 5%, at least for the last two weeks, is an indicator that the epidemic is under control.

Popular British tourist destinations are more likely to have restrictions placed on them if their cases are on the rise, while other countries may not be placed on the quarantine list despite meeting all the conditions.

Source: Sky News

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