Amber-listed Portugal and Spain account for nearly 30 per cent of all imported coronavirus cases, new data has revealed.
The number of people who tested positive after returning from the two Mediterranean holiday hotspots, between June 10 and 30, were twice as high as arrivals from France.
Scientists claim France is being ‘unfairly targeted’ with travel restrictions, following its lone addition to the ‘amber plus’ list last Friday.
1,800 cases were linked to travellers in June by the NHS Track and Trace service – 277 were linked to Portugal, 252 to Spain and 47 to France.
However, the data reveals the proportion of people returning from foreign trips remains relatively slim. 0.9 per cent of arrivals from newly-green-listed Croatia tested positive on their return to the UK, as did 0.8 per cent of travellers from Portugal, 0.7 per cent from Spain and 0.6 per cent from Greece, while only 0.3 per cent of French arrivals contracted the virus.
Professor Richard Tedder, a virologist at Imperial College London, told MailOnline: “I do not understand what criteria the Government are using to put countries on the amber list, or why France has been singled out when the prevalence of infected people is higher in other countries.”
“There is likely another issue that is not being reported widely,” suggested Professor Gary McLean, an immunologist at London Metropolitan University.