Travellers from Jamaica, Czech Republic and Switzerland will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the UK.
Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, said in a tweet that the decision was made to keep COVID-19 infection rates down. The order will take effect on 29 August.
Shapps added that “quarantining on return from a non-travel corridor country is a legal requirement and you commit a criminal offence if you break that quarantine.”
In another tweet, he explained that the decision on whether to add or remove a country is “carefully made.”
Shapps said a lead indicator is 20 cases per 100,000 over seven days, adding that a wide range of factors are taken into account, such as level, rate and speed of change in confirmed cases.
According to the government, the data from Switzerland showed “a consistent increase” in the number of weekly cases. Infection incidence rate jumped 19% in a seven-day period from 18.5 cases per 100,000 on 20 August to 27 per 100,000 on 27 August.
Similarly, cases in Czech Republic had increased by 25% over a two-week period, rising from 1,723 to 2,153.
Euronews reports data shared by the government from Jamaica showed the highest spike among the three countries, with weekly cases per 100,000 increasing by 382% from 4.3 on 20 August to 20.8 on 27 August.
The news channel reports the removal of Switzerland and Czech Republic from the UK’s exempt list comes after spikes in several other European countries saw them removed in recent weeks, including France, Austria, Croatia, Malta and the Netherlands.
Cuba will reportedly be added to the list of low-risk countries from which travellers can arrive from without now having to self-isolate.