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Thailand and Singapore on, while Slovenia and Guadeloupe off safe travel list

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18/09/2020
Holidaymakers are set to scramble back to England from Slovenia and Guadeloupe as the countries have been kicked off the safe travel corridor list.

These destinations have been removed from the quarantine exempt list for arrivals from 4am Saturday 19 September.

This means anyone arriving in England from these destinations, whether by train, ferry, coach, air, or any other route, even a transit stop, will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

The government said the destinations have been removed from the list of safe travel corridors for England as there was a “significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus in both destinations”.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England said in Slovenia the weekly cases per 100,000 has increased from 14.1 on 9 September to 29.1 on 16 September – a 102% increase.

In Guadeloupe, there has been a sharp increase in the weekly incidence rate over the past four weeks, with a 558% increase in cases per 100,000 between 25 August and 15 September.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has also updated its travel advice to Slovenia and Guadeloupe – advising against all but essential travel.

Meanwhile, Thailand and Singapore have been added to the safe travel corridor list so holidaymakers won’t need to quarantine upon return to England from 4am Saturday 19 September. This is as long as they haven’t been in or transited through any other exempt countries within 14 days preceding arrival. These destinations are already exempt from the FCDO’s global advisory against non-essential travel.

All travellers, including those from destinations on the travel corridors list, will still be required to show a completed passenger locator form on arrival into the UK unless they fall into a small group of exemptions.

Insurance and pay implications

FCO warnings are important as they are usually the trigger for travel insurance cover. When one is in place, it usually means you can claim for cancellation on your travel insurance if you can’t travel.

If you decide to travel despite an FCDO warning, your insurance will normally become invalid.

When it comes to being paid while self-isolating, there’s no automatic right to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). SSP applies to other types of self-isolation, such as if you show symptoms of coronavirus.

The government is urging employers to be “understanding” of those returning from these destinations who now will need to self-isolate.

It also announced last month that people on low incomes who need to self-isolate but can’t work from home in areas where there are high rates of coronavirus will receive a new payment worth up to £182 (£13 a day).

To claim, people need to be in receipt of Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit. Currently the trial is operating in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham. If successful, it will be rolled out further.

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