UK holidaymakers returning from Belgium and Luxembourg could face 14-day quarantine

HOLIDAYMAKERS returning to the UK from Belgium and Luxembourg could face a 14-day quarantine when they return.

The new rule could be brought in as soon as tomorrow amid fears of a second coronavirus wave in Europe.



A 14-day quarantine for travellers returning from Spain was introduced on Saturday, and more countries could soon be included.

Eleven countries where "air bridges" exist with the UK have had a recent spike in cases, including Belgium, Luxembourg and Croatia.

Boris Johnson issued a warning yesterday as Covid-19 continues to spread across the continent.

"Let's be absolutely clear about what's happening in Europe. Among some of our European friends, I'm afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic," he said.

"It's vital that when people are coming back from abroad, if they are coming back from a place where I'm afraid there is another outbreak, they must go into quarantine.

"That's why we have taken the action that we have and we will continue, throughout the summer, to take such action where it is necessary."

It comes as:

  • Mr Johnson fears a second wave will hit the UK in just two weeks
  • The UK secures access to 60 million doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine
  • Heathrow boss says holidaymakers must have airport tests to cut quarantine
  • Defiant Brits jet off to Spain despite 14-day quarantine and warnings
  • Almost half a million Brits will lose the entire cost of their holidays

Brits are still able to travel to Luxembourg despite the country having the highest rate of coronavirus cases in Europe, almost 15 times higher per capita than Britain.

A travel industry source told The Times that there are fears more quarantine rules will "spook" people into staying home this summer.

"The risk will just become too great. People will not travel, or book, if they fear that quarantine on return will be imposed while they are away," the source said.

Croatian tourism bosses said the country was "still extremely safe" last night.

TWO WEEK WARNING

Mr Johnson fears a second coronavirus wave could hit the UK within just two weeks.

The Prime Minister is said to be "extremely concerned" by new outbreaks "bubbling up", both at home and abroad.

A senior Government source told the Daily Mail: "People have got to realise we're in the middle of a pandemic."

It comes hours after Mr Johnson warned there are signs of a second wave sweeping Europe.

Although the number of UK cases is relatively low, rises were recorded each day last week for the first time since the peak of the virus in April.

The seven-day average stands at almost 700 – 28 per cent up on three weeks ago.

Advisers have been warning of a potential second wave of the pandemic this winter.

However, it's now believed it could come sooner.


A Downing Street source told the Mail: "The PM is extremely concerned by what he's seeing abroad and fears we could be seeing the same thing here in a fortnight.

"People have got to realise we are still in the middle of a pandemic.

"He wants to go further on opening things up and getting people back to work, but he knows it'll be his head on the block if things go wrong."

On a visit to Nottingham yesterday, Mr Johnson said Brits are facing a rise in cases.

"The most important thing is for everybody in all communities to heed the advice, to follow the advice, not to be spreading it accidentally and get it right down and we'll be able to ease the restrictions across the country," he said.

"But clearly we now face, I'm afraid, the threat of a second wave in other parts of Europe and we just have to be vigilant."

It's believed Mr Johnson is alarmed by the resurgence of the virus in parts of Europe following the easing of lockdown. 

France has warned the progress in the fight against coronavirus has been "erased", with officials from the health ministry saying: "We have returned to levels comparable with those at the end of the lockdown period.

"We have thus erased a good part of the progress made during the initial weeks since the lockdown was lifted."

The Belgian Government warned of a second "complete lockdown", while the head of Germany's public health agency yesterday said he was "very concerned" by rising infection levels.

The head of Germany's public health agency yesterday said he was 'very concerned' by rising infection levels.

"SAFER IN SPAIN"

Defiant Brits flew out to Spain yesterday to avoid losing thousands on pre-booked holidays.

Travellers defied Mr Johnson's warnings of a second coronavirus wave in Europe as well as a forced quarantine on their return and took to the skies regardless.

Pictures showed scores of passengers queuing up at Heathrow Airport today and Brits arriving in Malaga from London, Liverpool and Manchester.

Brits flying out are unlikely to have valid travel insurance as Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidelines state that holidaymakers should not travel to mainland Spain unless it is essential.


Despite the risks, travellers leaving from Manchester Airport today claimed they felt safer in Spain than the UK.

Nigel Hunt, 54, chose to fly with his family to their villa in Fuerteventura.

"We toyed long and hard with the idea of going and decided we would be safer over there," he told MailOnline.

"We live close to Blackburn and Hyndburn where cases are spiking so we feel safer in Fuerteventura."

Steelworker Dan Guzlinski, 36, who lives in Southport, Merseyside, said he was travelling to Tenerife with his family.

"If we don't go we lose our money because the holiday hasn't been cancelled. We tried to change the destination but it would have cost an extra £1,000," he said.

Mr Guzlinski agreed that his family would be safer in Spain than in the UK.

Erica Thompson, who was flying to Fuerteventura to visit her parents, said she felt the Spanish government had a better handle on the coronavirus pandemic than the UK does.

POSSIBLE SECOND WAVE

Another 119 Covid-related deaths were recorded in the UK on Tuesday – the same day the quarantine for Spain was extended to the country's Balearic and Canary islands, where case numbers are lower.

A Whitehall source said: "The PM was determined to make sure we have a clear and consistent message on Spain, regardless of the situation in individual regions.

"That's fair enough, but you can see why Spain is upset because it treats the whole country as if it was as bad as the worst region. 

"If other countries did that to us they would be judging the whole country on the situation in Leicester."

There are no immediate plans to reimpose restrictions on a nationwide basis, it is understood.

A source said: "We have not seen a sharp uptick yet, but we are concerned.

"We don't want to experience what some other countries are experiencing and it would be remiss of us if we were not looking at steps to prevent that."

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is monitoring a number of areas on a 'watch list' due to high or fast-rising infection rates, including Peterborough, Northampton, Luton, Leicester, Rochdale and Bradford. 

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