POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

UK imposes quarantine on visitors from Luxembourg



Stock photo shows a plane landing at London City Airport. Since midnight Thursday, visitors travelling to the UK from Luxembourg will have to self-isolate for 14 day Shutterstock

Stock photo shows a plane landing at London City Airport. Since midnight Thursday, visitors travelling to the UK from Luxembourg will have to self-isolate for 14 day Shutterstock

The measure took effect from midnight on Thursday.

Travellers from Luxembourg will also be asked to complete a public health passenger locator form before arrival.

People transiting through the UK will not be expected to self-quarantine provided they do not pass through border controls.

Luxembourg has been conducting large scale coronavirus testing for residents and cross-border workers for the past months. Figures published on Thursday show that out of 6,621 tests carried out, 68 residents and 15 non-residents tested positive for covid-19. The numbers are equivalent to 10.86 per 100,000 residents. There are currently six people in intensive care units in Luxembourg hospitals and 57 in normal care, according to health ministry figures. The death toll remained stable at 114 and the effective RT reproductive rate was 1. During the past month, 2,317 new cases were detected in Luxembourg, compared to 18,694 in the UK, according to figures published on the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.

The quarantine measure was criticised on social media because it does not take into account the fact that Luxembourg offers testing to people regardless of whether or not they have coronavirus symptoms. The UK free testing programme currently focuses on people with symptoms.

In Luxembourg, some potential infections were highlighted through manual contact tracing systems in place. The UK’s contact tracing application, the NHS Test and Trace app, has been piloted in some areas but will not be rolled out nationally until mid-August.

The UK, which only last week reopened indoor gyms and sports facilities, has recorded around 302,000 cases since the start of the crisis.

As other EU countries began easing lockdown, the UK imposed an initial quarantine rule for incoming visitors. This rule was relaxed at the start of the school holiday season in July.

The UK is not the only country to take measures in response to Luxembourg’s rising infection figures. Travellers from Luxembourg to Germany and the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores must present a negative covid-19 test no older than 48 hours to be allowed entry. These tests can be booked online and are free of charge. Switzerland, meanwhile, imposed quarantine on visitors from Luxembourg.