British holidaymakers won’t have to self-isolate after coming back from the following Greek islands: Santorini, Zakynthos (Zante), Lesbos, Tinos and Serifos. Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, confirmed this information on October 9th, emphasising that the relaxed measures start from Saturday, 10th October at 4am and apply to travellers arriving back to the UK, Northern Ireland and Wales.
It has not yet been confirmed whether Scotland would apply the same measures. Greece and the islands were removed from Scotland’s corridor list at the beginning of September and no amendments have been made since.
Note that travel restrictions have not been removed for any other destination. The reason for easing the measures is a drop in the number of people infected with coronavirus in these 5 popular Greek tourist destinations. The Joint Biosecurity Centre also confirmed the risk to public health that could have been caused by travellers coming back from the islands has decreased. The number of confirmed cases in Greece is now over 22,500.
There is constant tension about countries that may or may not be added to the UK’s corridor list. The government is aware of the drawbacks and lack of clarity of this type of approach. Travellers are worried about having to cancel their holidays, which includes losing the right to get a refund. Also, as the number of active and newly discovered cases continues to rise in the UK, the travel industry is finding it harder and harder to operate.
At the beginning of October, the government added Turkey and Poland to the quarantine list, which forced holidaymakers to scramble to find tickets to get back to the UK before 4am on Saturday, 3rd October. Those who didn’t get back in time had to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return. Besides Turkey and Poland, the government added to the list the Caribbean island group of St Eustatius, Saba and Bonaire. Travellers caught refusing to follow government self-isolation regulations will be fined up to £10,000.
Follow our blog if you would like to stay updated about the latest coronavirus and travel-related info. If you would like to embark on an adventure and visit one of the Greek islands that have been removed from the UK’s quarantine list, make sure you have your travel money ready - and that’s where we can help. Contact us today and find more about our services!