Brits told ‘only travel if you can quarantine’ as 20,000 face rush home from Croatia

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Brits planning to head abroad this summer have been warned that they should only travel if they can afford to quarantine for 14 days on their return.

In Croatia, thousands of Brits now face the prospect of two weeks isolation if they cannot make it home before the new restrictions begin at 4am.

The popular holiday destination was removed from the UK’s “safe” list on Thursday night, alongside Austria and Trinidad and Tobago.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has warned all Brits heading abroad that quarantine restrictions could be imposed at short notice.

Travellers in Spain were given just five hours notice that the measures were being imposed – in a blow to thousands of people abroad at the time.

Are you on holiday in any of the affected countries at the moment or due to fly out? Email us at [email protected]  

On BBC Breakfast this morning, the Tory MP said: “Regardless of where you’re going, having been caught out on this myself, everybody will be travelling with their eyes open this summer because this virus is incredibly unpredictable, and all the more so in the countries where we don’t have any control with the way that the response is being handled.

“So people should always, I think, be prepared, if they’re going away to think about what would happen if a country then did require quarantine on return.”

Brits in Croatia have told of the travel chaos after the restrictions were imposed last night.

Liam and Jodie, a couple from Keighley, West Yorkshire, forked out £800 for a flight via Munich in order to beat the deadline.

Liam, who is set to start a new job, said: “There wasn’t an alternative. There are no flights from Pula to the UK on Fridays, only a flight from Zagreb to London runs but obviously that was fully booked.

“The only (other) flights available were with stops in Spain through Ryanair but then we would have to quarantine anyway.

He added that the pair had tried to make the most of their trip despite “the distraction of not knowing what’s going to happen”, and were treating their visit to Munich as a “city break we got as an extra”.

Another couple flew home early after becoming alarmed at the escalating rate of infection in Croatia.

Graham Lloyd-Bennett said they kept a close eye on local data while abroad with his wife Karla visiting her famuly, and made a swift decision to exit before the announcement was made.

He said: “I came back on (August) 10 because I suspected Croatia may go into the red list and I couldn’t afford to quarantine due to work, so changed my flight earlier.”

And he rearranged his wife’s flight on Monday – after watching travellers in France struggle to get home before the 4am deadline.

He added: “We have been monitoring (the) situation daily and decided to move her flight also earlier by a week to today to avoid quarantine also.

“When we decided to fly out to Croatia we were aware there could be changes.

“I can’t see why people complain as it is a personal decision to travel in these times. Of course it is annoying and stressful but it has to be done.”

The government revealed last week that countries recording more than 20 new daily cases per 100,000 over a rolling seven day period are at risk of being deemed unsafe to travel to.

Croatia was axed as the rate of infection surged to 30 per 100,000 people, up from 12.1 for the previous seven days.

In Trinidad and Tobago cases have increased over the past four weeks, with a sharp 232 per cent spike in the number of cases per 100,000 people between August 12 and 19.

In Austria, the weekly number of cases per 100,000 has increased from 10.5 on August 13 to 20.3 on August 20, an increase of 93pc.

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