Holiday options for Britons seeking a slice of autumn sunshine after the year’s earlier coronavirus lockdowns shrank further as Italy joined the U.K. quarantine roster.
Anyone arriving from the south European nation after 4 a.m. on Sunday must self-isolate for two weeks, as Italy has been removed from Britain’s travel corridors list, the Department for Transport said in a statement Thursday.
The announcement will disrupt holiday plans for tens of thousands of people with bookings for Italian sunspots in the half-term school break at the end of this month, the last holiday period for many Britons before Christmas. It means that almost all Mediterranean destinations are now effectively off-limits.
Italy, Europe’s original epicenter for the virus, has seen a resurgence in Covid-19 infections, with its daily tally reaching 7,332 Wednesday, higher than the 6,557 at the earlier peak of the pandemic on March 21. That’s still less severe than in France and in Spain, which have been subject to U.K. quarantine orders for weeks.
Read More: Italy Posts Record Virus Cases as Europe Struggles With Pandemic
In more positive news, the island of Crete was added to the travel bubble list after being assessed as posing a lower infection risk by Britain’s Joint Biosecurity Centre. It joins a number of other Greek islands, though the mainland is excluded.
Among other warm-weather destinations requiring a short-haul flight, only Cyprus and Gibraltar come with no British quarantine requirement for returning travelers. Elsewhere in Europe, Ireland, Germany and most of Scandinavia are also exempt, though unlikely to lure sun-seekers as the weather worsens and nights grow longer.