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Belgium and the Bahamas off safe list

Change comes into place on 4am on Saturday August

Travellers arriving in the UK from Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas will be forced to quarantine for 14 days after the countries were removed from the government’s travel corridors list.

The Department for Transport said that data from the joint biodiversity centre and Public Health England indicated a “significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases” in the countries.

The change comes into place on 4am on Saturday August 8. Scotland has also withdrawn the countries from its list.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office now advises against all but essential travel to Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas.

Belgium recoded more than 70,000 Covid-19 cases this week, meaning it has a rate of 27.8 new cases per 100,000 people. This is compared to the UK’s 8.4.

Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines were added to the list on July 24, but Spain was removed on July 25 and Luxembourg was removed on July 31.

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The government is under increased pressure to implement a testing regime at borders amid the confusion caused by changes to the travel corridors list.

In the wake of the Department for Transport removing Spain from its safe list and the change in FCO advice, which was subsequently extended to include the Canary and Balearic Islands, the chief executive of Heathrow has renewed calls for testing.

“As many of our customers have experienced, it’s difficult to plan a holiday that way, let alone run a business. Testing offers a way to safely open up travel and trade to some of the UK’s biggest markets which currently remain closed,” John Holland-Kaye told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

He said: “The UK needs a passenger testing regime and fast,” adding that “without it, Britain is just playing a game of quarantine roulette.”

Matt Hancock has said he has “absolutely no regrets” about the quick change in advice on Spain – and said more countries could be removed from the exemption list within days.

The health secretary said officials were looking “all of the time” at coronavirus cases in other countries.