Hungary removed from UK 'green list' but remains on Ireland's

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Hungary has been removed from England's quarantine exemption list, while it remains on Ireland's "green list" of countries that do not require arrivals to quarantine on arrival in the Republic.

Hungary currently has an incidence rate of 45.3 cases of the virus per 100,000 of its population, close to ten points higher than the Republic's current 36.7, according to today's latest data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

It has now been removed from England's quarantine exemption list, along with Portugal, French Polynesia and Reunion, which do not currently feature on the Republic's "green list".

Several Greek islands were also recently removed from England's list, however, the entirety of Greece remains on Ireland's list exempting any quarantine restrictions.

It was reported yesterday that Ireland's "green list" is set to be extended according to a Minister of State, with additions to the list expected to be announced this coming Monday.

England

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has now said that travellers arriving in England from Hungary, Portugal, French Polynesia and Reunion after 4am on Saturday will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

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Mr Shapps tweeted that Sweden is set to be added to the exemption list.

His tweet added: “Data shows we need to remove Portugal (minus the Azores and Madeira), Hungary, French Polynesia and Reunion from the Travel Corridor list to keep everyone safe.

“Through enhanced data we now have the capability to assess islands separate to their mainland countries. If you arrive in England from the Azores or Madeira, you will NOT need to self-isolate for 14 days.

“This week, Sweden has been added to the Travel Corridors list. If you arrive In England from Sweden, you will not need to self-isolate for 14 days.”

Portugal reported 646 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, which is its highest daily total since late April.

This means Portugal’s seven-day rate of cases per 100,000 people is 28.3.

A seven-day rate of 20 is the threshold above which the UK Government considers triggering quarantine conditions.

The changes mean that UK holidaymakers face a scramble to return home before restrictions come into force.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said the weekly review system was not helping to revive confidence in travel.

He added: “I urge the Government to adopt a traffic lights system so that consumers are more clearly informed about countries at risk. This would reassure and enable people to book trips with more certainty.”

On Monday, the UK Department for Transport launched a new islands policy for travel corridors, which saw mainland Greece keep its exemption but seven islands have restrictions reimposed.

Meanwhile, more than a dozen airline leaders have written to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, warning that the islands policy is “by no means enough to support the sector”.

The letter, whose signatories include the chief executives of easyJet, Ryanair, British Airways and industry association Airlines UK, called for airport testing to be implemented before the end of September as a way of reducing self-isolation periods to five days.

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