CROATIA faces joining the UK’s quarantine list within the next 48 hours after a spike in coronavirus cases.
The worrying news comes after it recorded its second highest number of new infections with 199 taking the total number of cases to 7,074.
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That means its seven-day average – used by the UK government to assess the safety of so-called travel corridors – now stands at 27.2 per 100,000 people.
The threshold for quarantine is reported to be just 20.
A decision is now expected on Thursday with any possible measures announced Friday and introduced early Saturday, as they were for France.
If Croatia is added to the list it could affect tens of thousands of Brit tourists in the country at the moment.
And, according to the aviation data analysts Cirum, from today until the end of September there are another 767 flights scheduled to fly there from the UK.
Those passenger planes have a total seat capacity of nearly 130,000.
Paul Charles, CEO of the travel consultancy PC Agency, estimates there are currently 20,000 British holidaymakers in Croatia.
And he told the Guardian he believed it would be added to the quarantine list “based on the government’s own criteria”.
If the country does go into quarantine, tourists will be given notice to be able to return to the UK ahead of the move.
If families come back after the date given by the UK government, then they will have quarantine for two weeks on their return.
Croatia may then enforce similar restrictions.
The country currently has no entry requirements or travel restrictions for British tourists.
If it is put onto the red list, then tour operators and airlines are likely to stop flights and holidays.
This will mean they will offer a refund or credit note, while some airlines are allowing passengers to move their flights free of charge.
Slovenia is now urging its citizens to return from Croatia by the end of the week or face an obligatory two-week quarantine.
“The situation is so bad that we have no choice but to urge citizens to return from the dangerous country as soon as possible,” said government spokesman Jelko Kacin .
Slovenians already in Croatia will be able to return freely until the end of this week, while those travelling to the neighbouring country from August 21 onwards will have to go into quarantine when they return.
Croatia escaped the worst of the first wave of the pandemic owing to swift lockdowns and a lack of tourist arrivals at the tail-end of winter.