Thursday 1 October 2020 6:38 pm

Quarantine: Turkey and Poland added to self-isolation list

People arriving in England from Turkey and Poland will have to self-isolate for 14 days from the early hours of Saturday morning after the countries were added to the UK quarantine list.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said that those coming back from the countries, as well Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, would have to quarantine.

Read more: Coronavirus: Here are the seven quarantine free countries you can still visit, after Turkey travel ban

He warned that the government was increasing the fines for those people who did not obey the rules to self-isolate.

The maximum fine for repeat offenders has been set at £10,000, he said.

As a result of the new additions, almost all of mainland Europe has been added to the Government’s “red list”.

English tourists can travel to just seven European countries without incurring quarantines or mandatory testing at either end.

Two notable exceptions, Italy and Mainland Greece, were thought to be at risk of being added to the list because their infection rates had equalled or surpassed the 20 per 100,000 mark the Government considers dangerous.

However, their travel corridors to the UK remain open.

Easyjet and Ryanair shares dropped as markets opened this morning on the news.

Read more: Coronavirus: US President Donald Trump and wife Melania self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19

The new rules had an almost-instant effect on airfares back from Turkey.

The cheapest seats back from major Turkish airports before the quarantine rules come into effect are reported to be more than £500.

Turkey's Ephesus will be off-limits to UK travellers unless they want to quarantine on arrival back in England
Tourists view the ruins of the Library of Celsus in the ancient city of Ephesus (Getty Images)

A further blow

Manchester Airports Group, which also owns London Stanstead and East Midlands airports, said the new addition is a “further blow to the already struggling aviation sector“.

“Poland and Turkey are hugely popular destinations, and their removal from the safe travel list means that a large proportion of the markets our passengers usually travel to are now effectively closed-off, despite many of them having much lower infection rates than the UK,” the airport operator said.

In a statement this afternoon the Department for Transport said the Turkish Health Ministry has been defining the number of new Covid-19 cases in a different way to international organisations such as the WHO.

The risk assessment for Turkey was “updated to reflect the likely impact of this on the data for incidence and test positivity rates”.

Read more: IATA calls for worldwide airport testing to replace quarantine

Meanwhile, Poland has recorded a 66 per cent increase in weekly cases per 100,000 people.

An Ipsos-Mori survey published yesterday by the BBC showed that a large majority of Britons were “very likely or certain” that they will follow government guidelines. 71 per cent said they would quarantine if they returned from a country without a “travel corridor”.