Coronavirus: Singapore and Thailand added to England's 'quarantine-free' list

From 4am on Saturday, passengers arriving to England from the UK's Travel Corridor list will no longer need to self-isolate. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Singapore and Thailand have been removed from the list of countries from which travellers must quarantine when entering England to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus, British transport minister Grant Shapps said on Thursday (Sept 17).

From 4am on Saturday, passengers arriving to England from these destinations will no longer need to self-isolate, so long as they haven't been in or transited through any other non-exempt countries in the 14 days preceding their arrival, according to the UK government website.

Slovenia and Guadaloupe, however, have been added to the list. Anybody arriving in England from these two countries after 4am on Saturday will need to self-isolate for 14 days, he said on Twitter.

Both have also been added to Wales' quarantine list, while arrivals there from Gibraltar and Thailand will not need to self-isolate, BBC reported.

The Department for Transport said there had been "a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus" in both Slovenia and Guadeloupe.

Data from Slovenia shows that its seven-day rate of cases is 29.1 per 100,000 people, up from 14.4 in the previous seven days. The rate for Guadeloupe has risen more than six-fold in the past four weeks.

When a country's rate rises above 20, the UK government considers imposing quarantine restrictions.

Travellers who do not self-isolate when they are supposed to can be fined £1,000 (S$1,757) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or £480 in Scotland.

Travellers from Singapore and Thailand have been added to UK's Travel Corridor list, meaning they no longer have to enter quarantine on arrival.

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But the BBC reported that the decision to remove quarantine restrictions for arrivals from Thailand and Singapore is unlikely to lead in a surge of people from Britain visiting as both countries are only allowing people to enter for a limited number of reasons, such as if they have a work permit or are the spouse or child of a resident.

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