COVID19: Anxious wait as Cyprus faces UK travel list axe

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With coronavirus cases soaring, Cyprus faces another anxious wait to see if UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps will keep the island on Britain’s safe travel list.

The travel corridor list comes under review every Thursday with Shapps expected to announce the decision via Twitter this evening.

Cyprus escaped the chop last week, but its numbers have hardly improved since then.

Countries not included on the travel corridor list require Britons returning to the UK to quarantine for 14 days.

The government has been using data based on a country’s coronavirus case rate per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

Previously, countries with more than 20 cases per 100,000 people over this period were at risk of being removed from the list.

The UK is allowing for a higher rate of infection, with the new threshold reported to be 100 cases per 100,000 people.

According to Paul Charles, the CEO of travel consultancy the PC Agency, the new criteria has meant that more countries are now out of the “red zone” and in the “safe zone”.

Thursday’s announcement could see Cyprus looking added to the quarantine list, which would be a turn-off for British tourists and people travelling to the UK.

Cyprus has remained safe on the travel corridor list for months with Britain being its major tourist market.

According to the latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), Cyprus has recorded 111.7 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in its population over a seven-day period.

This is well above the UK’s new and previous thresholds.

Cyprus has recorded 3,930 cases and 25 deaths since the outbreak.

Germany is also at risk of losing its travel corridor after recording a “200 percent increase in positive infections” over the last two weeks.

The country has also seen much “higher testing positivity” which could spell alarm bells for the UK government.

Germany recorded almost 6,000 positive tests on Wednesday and is recording a seven-day infection rate of 100.6 cases per 100,000.

However, the UK’s own infection rate is 232.6 cases per 100,000 over a seven-day period which is above both Cyprus and Germany.