The UK government on Thursday removed travel restrictions on a sizeable list of countries, for travellers who live in England, and the list has been expanded to now include more than 60 destinations.
The Turks and Caicos Islands is among a list of countries recently slapped with travel restrictions due to rising COVID-19 cases. Also included in that list were Spain, Belgium, the Bahamas, France, Aruba, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago.
Media and leisure website, Timeout, has reported that since August 29, travellers returning from Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic have had to self-isolate, while those coming from Cuba have no longer had to. And as of Saturday (September 12), those coming back from Portugal (excluding the Azores and Madeira), Hungary, French Polynesia and Réunion will be required to quarantine too. Travel is now permitted to and from Sweden.
Instead of the previous two-way ‘air bridge’ agreement, whereby other countries would remove restrictions on UK visitors arriving in exchange for access for their citizens to the UK, the new ‘travel corridor’ approach will only remove the mandatory 14-day self-isolation period on return to the UK – and only for English residents. The rules vary in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. All arrivals will also need to provide contact details on arriving home via air, rail or sea.
The aim is to allow smoother travel between countries with similar or lower rates of infection. Travellers entering England from a ‘low-risk’ country won’t face a 14-day lockdown, while those travelling from ‘higher-risk’ countries will still be allowed to enter but will have to self-isolate on arrival.
Despite these changes, the Foreign Office does still ‘currently advise British nationals against all but essential international travel’ for all destinations that aren’t on the ‘safe’ list.
According to Timeout, the list is changing all the time, with new countries being added and others being taken off with little notice.
Turks and Caicos has reported a total of 638 COVID-19 cases with 271 revoveries and 5 deaths.