Thomas Cook stops selling holidays to Turkey & Poland after quarantine list change leaves Brits scrambling to get home
THOMAS Cook has stopped selling holidays to Turkey and Poland after a quarantine list change has left Brits scrambling to get home.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said anyone who arrives back to the UK from Turkey, Poland, and the Caribbean islands of Bonair, St Eustatius and Saba after 4am on Saturday will have to quarantine.
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Turkey has been added to the UK quarantine list[/caption]
Arrivals to the UK from Poland will have to self isolate from after 4am Saturday[/caption]
TRAVEL CORRIDOR UPDATE: The latest data indicates we need to remove Turkey, Poland, and Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba from the #TravelCorridor list this week.
This means if you arrive from these destinations from 4am Saturday 3 October, you will need to self-isolate.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) October 1, 2020
Thomas Cook will only sell holidays to places on the Government’s “safe travel” list.
The changes have left Brits scrambling to get home, including Chloe Brammah, a freelance beauty technician stuck in Turkey.
She tweeted: “Why’d I come to Turkey just to quarantine when I’m home, now I need a flight home now before Saturday.”
Chloe told MailOnline she was worried about losing earnings due to having to quarantine.
Her flight is not until next Saturday. She said she has decided to stay in Turkey as she fears there will be no early flights.
Earlier, Mr Shapps reminded Brits of how important quarantine is – and the ramped-up fines for skipping it.
He said: “You MUST self-isolate if you enter the UK from a non-exempt country – from tomorrow, we’re increasing the penalties for people who refuse to do so to a maximum of £10,000 for repeat offenders.”
But Greece and Italy were spared from being added to the quarantine list – despite their growing cases – both have an infection rate of 20.4 per 100,000.
Turkey is on 12.9 cases per 100,000, way below the 20 per 100,000 mark which the Government considers booting countries off.
The decision suggests the Government don’t trust Turkey’s numbers – and think the rate of infection there is much higher.
But Turkey admitted they were faking their numbers – and not disclosing the sheer scale of new cases.
According to the Financial Times, the Turkish health minister has now admitted that it changed the way they reported coronavirus cases per day, changing the words of “today’s number of cases” to “todays number of patients”.
The latest reports state there have been 318,663 cases since the crisis began and just 8,195 deaths.
The Government has said they will take into account whether they think each country’s reporting data is reliable or not when looking at whether to ask people to quarantine.
Poland currently has an infection rate of 26 new cases per 100,000.
The quarantine-free list has been slowly whittled down to the point where there are barely ten European countries Brits can visit without having to self-isolate for 14 days.
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Denmark, Iceland, Slovakia and Curaçao were all stricken from the list of countries with exemptions last week.
A handful of Greek islands also lost their quarantine-free status as the Government brought in a more tailored approach to isolating returns from islands.
Italian and Greek islands are both hoping to avoid quarantine with regional corridors to the UK if arrivals were told to self-isolate.