Welsh and Scottish officials announced on Thursday, September 3, that Portugal and several Greek islands have been added to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) quarantine list amid a recent spike in cases. The mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers returning from Wales will go into effect at 03:00 hrs (local time) on Friday, September 4, and will include mainland Portugal and the Greek islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos, Lesbos, Paros, Antiparos, and Crete. In Scotland, Portugal is also to be added to the COVID-19 quarantine list from 04:00 Friday, with officials having previously announced that passengers arriving from Greece would be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine from 04:00 hrs on September 3.
Previously, UK officials announced that arrivals from the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Jamaica are required to quarantine for 14 days from Saturday, August 29, as a precaution while arrivals from Cuba have had restrictions removed. Previously, Aruba, Austria, Croatia, France, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands have been removed from the travel corridor list, requiring arrivals to quarantine upon arrival for 14 days. Further information on travel corridors can be found here.
Many restrictions have been lifted in the UK. The wearing of face masks is mandatory in certain public areas, with fines for repeat offenders rising up to 3200 GBP (4175 USD). Further information regarding the wearing of face masks in the UK can be found here.
As of September 3, there have been 342,684 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK, and 41,615 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on the skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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