Many thousands of Britons are believed to be holidaying in Greece, Croatia and Turkey, which have all seen spikes in COVID cases.
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Greece, Croatia and Turkey could join the UK’s quarantine list as the countries record a rise in coronavirus cases.
British holidaymakers returning to the UK from these countries could be next to face quarantine measures after France, Malta, the Netherlands and other nations were suddenly removed from the UK’s travel corridor list.
Many thousands of Britons are believed to be holidaying in Greece, Croatia and Turkey, which have all seen spikes in coronavirus cases.
The rate of infections is up in Croatia which recorded 208 new cases on Friday, 162 on Saturday and 151 on Sunday.
“The average age of those infected is 31 years as some two-thirds were infected in the nightclubs and bars that remain open beyond midnight,” the country’s chief epidemiologist Krunoslav Capak told a news conference.
So far Croatia, a country of four million people, has recorded 6,571 cases of COVID-19 and 166 deaths.
Latest figures for the week 10 to 16 August from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show there are now 21.5 infections per 100,000 people in the country.
This is an increase of 175% from 7.8 per 100,000 in the week 3 to 9 August – and, crucially, above the UK government’s quarantine threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 people in a week.
It comes as Austria joined Italy in warning against travel to Croatia, amid concerns that holidaymakers could contract coronavirus and spread it once they return.
Italy recorded more than 600 new cases of COVID-19 at the weekend, with the government ordering the shutdown of clubs and music venues, and making face coverings mandatory in public places where social distancing is not possible between 6pm and 6am.
Sky’s Europe correspondent Michelle Clifford said: “It also believes cases are coming in from abroad from a number of countries – Spain, Greece and Croatia. People coming in to Italy from those areas will either have to be immediately tested at the airport or within 48 hours.”
Infections are up in Greece since Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis officially declared the tourist season open on 13 June.
At that time, Greece had 3,112 confirmed coronavirus cases and 183 deaths.
As of today, the number of cases in Greece has surged to 7,075, with the majority of new ones coming in August. The country has now recorded a total of 228 deaths linked to coronavirus.
Greece has also imposed local restrictions on businesses, especially those that cater to big crowds, as virus cases surge on the island of Mykonos.
Turkey’s coronavirus count rose on Saturday to its highest daily level since 30 June, according to the government.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter there were 1,256 new cases and 21 deaths over a 24-hour period.
For three weeks last month, new cases had hovered just under 1,000.
The total number of cases now stands at 249,309, while 5,783 people have died.
The rate of infections is also growing in both Greece and Turkey.
It now stands at 13.4 per 100,000 people in Greece – up by 72% from 7.8 per 100,000 in the week 3 to 9 August.
It is 10.4 per 100,000 people in Turkey – a 10% increase since the week 3 to 9 August when it stood at 9.5 per 100,000.
However, the weekly infections rate is not the only indicator the UK government is using to determine which countries are removed from its safe list.
Public Health England (PHE) has 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, as well as government actions and the quality of the data available.
The removal of France, Malta and the Netherlands from the safe list on Thursday night sparked a mass exodus and a race to beat Saturday morning’s quarantine deadline as hundreds of thousands of British tourists rushed back home.
Travellers returning from those countries – as well as Monaco, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba – must now self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in the UK.