24 Aug Coronavirus: Switzerland could be next country to join UK quarantine list | UK News
Switzerland could become the next country to join the UK’s quarantine list following a spike in coronavirus cases.
The country’s health minister Alain Berset said “the situation is under control, but remains fragile” after more than 300 new cases were recently reported in a 24-hour period – the highest increase since mid-April.
Figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention of the latest seven-day infection rate in Switzerland show there are now 20.7 cases per 100,000 people.
This is above the UK government’s quarantine threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 people in a week.
Scotland has already taken Switzerland off its list of countries from which people do not need to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, and the rest of the UK could follow later this week.
The number of coronavirus cases recorded in Switzerland stands at 39,903 – of which more than 2,000 have been recorded in the past 10 days.
The rate of infections is also growing in the Czech Republic and Greece – it stands at 17.9 per 100,000 people in the Czech Republic, up from 15.6 a week ago, and in Greece the rate is 14.8, up from 13.5.
Neither country has breached the UK threshold, but are now likely to have their COVID-19 figures more closely scrutinised by the British government.
However, the weekly infections rate is not the only indicator the government is using to determine which countries are removed from the safe list.
Public Health England has told Sky News the risk assessment for each country is considered on an individual basis, and other factors including trends in incidence and deaths, prevalence, testing capacity and the positive test rate, as well as government actions and the quality of the data available, are considered.
Iceland is currently reporting the same seven-day rate as Greece (14.8) – but while in Greece there have been 1,589 new cases recorded in the past week, in Iceland there have been only 53.
Meanwhile in Ireland, the seven-day rate has risen from 11.4 to 14.9 – the highest since late May.
By contrast, the seven-day rate in the UK is currently 10.7.
Recent surges of coronavirus cases in countries such as Croatia and France saw ministers suddenly remove them from the UK’s travel corridor list, sparking a mass exodus as tens of thousands of British tourists rushed back home to beat quarantine deadlines.