The British government are meeting today to discuss changes to the UK’s list of safe travel corridors, which could see a two-week quarantine for holidaymakers returning from Croatia by Friday.
The World Health Organization (WHO) have warned that the Balkans are “very much a sub-regional hotspot” for coronavirus infections over the summer period.
The WHO also warned that Balkans must impose more measures to “nip the transmission in the bud” as coronavirus has been spreading across the region since June.
Dr Catherine Smallwood told a WHO press conference on Thursday, “The situation in the Balkans has been a concern of ours since early June when we started to see cases increase and it’s been very much a sub-regional hotspot over the summer period.”
She added, “We really need communities to take this on board, take the adequate steps both at a country level, in terms of the basic contact tracing, case identification and isolation and testing the systems that need to be in place.
“And then where there are hotspots and increased transmission, additional, targeted measures need to be brought in place, very quickly, to nip transmission in the bud, stop it from spreading and keep the level of transmission at controllable levels.”
On Wednesday Croatia recorded 219 more people with the virus and over a 14-day cumulative number of cases stands at 37.7 per 100,000 population.
Once a country has more than 20 cases per 100,000 over a seven-day period then a country is removed from the safe travel corridor, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC.
If Croatia is added to the list, it is most likely that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) will change their travel advice for Croatia to, against all but essential travel.
This will then force many thousands of British holidaymakers in the country to cancel holidays at short notice or face the mandatory two-week quarantine period.
Airlines will then undoubtedly follow the FCO travel advice suspending flights and holidays, putting more pressure on the travel sector.
A FCO spokesman said, “We are monitoring the international situation very closely and keeping our travel advice under constant review so that it reflects our latest assessment of risks to British people.
“Anyone wanting our latest travel advice updates can sign up to alerts on the FCO website or follow our Travel Advice social media accounts.”
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