7 Greek Islands Added To England’s Quarantine List, Grant Shapps Announces

The transport secretary made the changes as part of a new regional approach to the self-isolation rules.
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People arriving in England from seven Greek islands will have to quarantine for 14 days, transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

They are Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthosknown (Zante).

Travellers returning from the islands after 4am on Wednesday will need to self-isolate for two weeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

It does not apply to mainland Greece, which will remain on England’s exemption list of travel corridor destinations.

The transport secretary made the move on Monday as part of a new regional approach to quarantine, which will see islands treated separately to their mainland countries.

Shapps said: “Our top priority has always been to keep domestic infection rates down, and today we’re taking the next step in our approach.

“Through the use of enhanced data we will now be able to pinpoint risk in some of the most popular islands, providing increased flexibility to add or remove them – distinct from the mainland - as infection rates change.

“This development will help boost the UK’s travel industry while continuing to maintain maximum protection to public health, keeping the travelling public safe.”

Scotland has already applied self-isolation rules to anyone returning from anywhere in Greece. Wales did the same for six Greek islands, including Zante and Crete.

Shapps went on to say that his department is “working actively on the practicalities of using testing to release people from quarantine earlier than 14 days”. An option involving only a test-on-arrival “would not work”, he added.

Labour’s shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon, criticised the government’s handling of the pandemic, describing its response as “chaotic”.

“For months, even when the virus was at its peak, millions of passengers were coming from all over the world without any restrictions placed upon them at all,” he said.

“By the time restrictions were introduced, we were one of only a handful of countries in the world who up to that point had failed to take action in bringing restrictions in place.”

Explaining the move, the Department for Transport (DfT) said data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England indicated a “significant risk to UK public health” from those islands.

At the same time, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice for Greece to advise against all but essential travel to Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos.

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