Travellers from Belgium, Andorra and Bahamas added to UK's coronavirus quarantine list

Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas have been added to the UK's coronavirus quarantine list, after a spike in cases in the affected countries.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a tweet that the changes will start at 04:00 BST on Saturday except in Wales, where they will start at midnight on Thursday.

He said: "Data shows we need to remove Andorra, Belgium and the Bahamas from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors in order to keep infection rates down."

The countries are the latest to have a change in rules, after quarantines were reimposed for Spain and Luxembourg.

Up to 1.8 million British nationals visit Belgium every year, while 150,000 visit Andorra. The Bahamas, meanwhile, saw more than 36,000 visits from the UK in 2018.

Belgium has suffered a resurgence of the virus, with the country passing 70,000 Covid-19 cases this week. Figures released on Thursday show that it has a rate of 27.8 new cases per 100,000 people compared to the UK’s 8.4.

Belgium also has one of the highest per capita coronavirus death rates in the world, with more than 9,800 fatalities out of a population of about 11 million, and last month announced a series of further restrictive measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the governments of all four UK nations agreed to the changes "based on a shared understanding of the data".

"Imposing quarantine requirements on those arriving from another country is not a decision made lightly - but suppressing the virus and protecting public health remains our priority," he said.

Meanwhile, travellers from Brunei and Malaysia arriving in the UK will be exempt from quarantine measures after cases in the two nations decreased.

The UK introduced the compulsory 14-day quarantine for arrivals from overseas in early June.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned last month there are "signs of a second wave" of COVID-19 brewing in Europe.

The World Health Organization says such talk is unhelpful, with a spokesperson insisting: "We are in the first wave. It's going to be one big wave."

On 27 July, Belgium unveiled new restrictive measures to stem the spread of the virus and prevent the return of a nationwide lockdown.

The numbers allowed to attend public events were halved to 100 inside and 200 outside. People would have to shop alone and work from home as much as possible.