THE British government’s decision to open travel corridors last summer could have had a significant impact on the spread of the virus, according to a new study.
Public Health England’s analysis of 4,000 positive tests in patients with recent travel links found 14% were arrivals from Spain.
Greece meanwhile was the largest source of imported infections between June and September, making up 21% of new cases.
Researchers also found that holidaymakers who were not asked to quarantine were more likely to pass on the virus once they arrived back.
Travel corridors were introduced on July 4 and allowed people from England to travel to and from ‘low-risk nations’ without the need to self-isolate on their return.
Spain’s airbridge with the UK was axed in July after Spanish case numbers soared and anyone who returned from Spain was told to quarantine for 14 days.
Meanwhile the travel corridor to Greece was left open until November.
Co-author of the study Dinesh Aggarwal of the University of Cambridge, said travel restrictions made “a significant difference”, saying that travellers who did not have to self-isolate were linked to more than five times as many genetically similar cases as those who did.
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