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Croatia now a coronavirus ‘hotspot’, WHO warns as country is placed on the UK quarantine list

THE World Health Organisation has warned that Croatia is now a coronavirus “hotspot” as the country becomes the next to join the UK’s quarantine list today.

After weeks of speculation the government have now implemented new restrictions which mean anybody travelling from the country has to quarantine for 14 days.

The announcement comes a week after France and several other nations were also placed on the list.

The WHO said the Balkans had been of concern to them “since early June” because of a steady raise in case numbers.

They encouraged the region to impose more measures to help “nip transmission in the bud.”

The comments from the WHO come as reports suggest the UK also grew concerned by the case numbers coming from Croatia and its neighbours, prompting today’s decision.

They follow a string of other countries who have been added to the list, including popular European destinations like Spain and France.

This means the foreign office advises against all but essential travel to the nation and makes anyone arriving from Croatia self-isolate for 14 days or risk heavy fines.

It is a move which could potentially plunge the holiday plans of thousands of Brit tourists into chaos. 

Dr Catherine Smallwood told a WHO press conference: “The situation in the Balkans has been a concern of ours since early June when we started to see cases increase and it’s been very much a sub-regional hotspot over the summer period.

“We really need communities to take this on board, take the adequate steps both at a country level, in terms of the basic contact tracing, case identification and isolation and testing the systems that need to be in place.”

She added: “And then where there are hotspots and increased transmission, additional, targeted measures need to be brought in place, very quickly, to nip transmission in the bud, stop it from spreading and keep the level of transmission at controllable levels.”

Croatia’s case numbers have been growing throughout the past week and the data suggests the problem is not going away.

The country has a cumulative rate of 27.4 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the past seven day. 

The UK Government normally imposes restrictions when the threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 is passed.

There has also been much speculation surrounding Greece and Turkey, but it is now believed their numbers have dropped sufficiently to avoid imposing 14-day quarantines on travellers from there.

The numbers of all countries are being closely monitored by the Department for Transport and the Foreign Office. 

The travel industry are keen on the quarantine times being slashed to five days alongside mandatory testing at airports.

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