KEY POINTS

  • Belgium, Andorra, and the Bahamas were the latest countries added to the U.K. coronavirus quarantine list
  • France is suspected to be the next country to join the list amid an ongoing rise in cases
  • Some vacationers are exempt from quarantining when they return from select countries if they were returning to the U.K.

United Kingdom official Rishi Sunak said the government wouldn’t hesitate to add more countries to its quarantine list and impose restrictions on new arrivals from those countries. Sunak’s comments come days after restrictions were imposed for anyone flying to the U.K. from Belgium, Andorra, and the Bahamas, who were told they would need to self-quarantine for 14-days after arriving.

Sunak hesitated from naming countries restrictions could be imposed on, though multiple outlets speculate it could be France due to the recent rise in cases there.

As of Saturday, the U.K. had nearly 310,000 confirmed cases and 46,560 deaths from coronavirus. France also crossed 200,000 confirmed cases and has 30,336 deaths.

“It’s a tricky situation,” Sunak said when asked what country could be next. “What I can say to people is we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and that means there is always the risk of disruption to travel plans and people need to bear that in mind.”

“It’s the right thing though for us to do to keep everything under review on a constant basis talking with our scientists, our medical advisers, and if we need to take action as you’ve seen overnight we will of course not hesitate to do that and we’re doing that to protect people’s health.”

Despite Sunak’s warning, several countries have been taken off the U.K. quarantine list or are expected to be. Brunei and Malaysia among the most recent countries removed from the list after both countries saw notable declines in new cases, meaning travelers to the U.K. won’t have to quarantine after arrival.

The U.K. government has also tried to show leniency to residents caught out-of-country at the time restrictions have been imposed. This resulted in a list of countries where holidaymakers, or vacationers, were exempt from self-quarantining upon their return. Spain was one of the largest countries on the list when it was released in June, but it has since been removed after the country experienced a notable rise in cases during July.

The German flag carrier carried around 1.7 million travellers during the three months to the end of June -- a 96 percent drop from the same period last year as lockdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus restricted air travel worldwide The German flag carrier carried around 1.7 million travellers during the three months to the end of June -- a 96 percent drop from the same period last year as lockdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus restricted air travel worldwide Photo: AFP / Daniel ROLAND