Seven Greek islands will be removed from the UK Government’s travel corridors list from 4am on Wednesday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.
The announcement came on Monday afternoon as Mr Shapps told MPs in the House of Commons that future quarantine restrictions will focus on people travelling to England from specific islands, rather than the current approach which has seen whole countries removed from the UK’s travel corridor list.
From Wednesday 9 September, arrivals to England from the Greek islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos will have to self-isolate for 14 days. Arrivals from mainland Greece will not have to self-isolate though, with the mainland and other Greek islands remaining on England’s travel corridor list.
Different, already announced quarantine restrictions apply in some of the other nations of the UK;
- In Wales, arrivals from Crete, Zakynthos, Mykonos, Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos currently have to self-isolate for 14 days
- In Scotland, arrivals from all parts of Greece currently have to self-isolate for 14 days
- In Northern Ireland, arrivals from Greece and Greek islands do not currently have to self-isolate.
The new islands policy in England could help to reduce disruption to travellers and their holiday plans, however, it could, at the same time also lead to further confusion over who needs to self-isolate, with the quarantine measures for arrivals from Greece and Greek islands now varying significantly across UK nations.
At the start of the pandemic, all four nations of the UK had roughly the same travel corridors and quarantine lists, however, they now have their own lists which differ from each other, causing confusion amongst members of the public.
Describing on Monday the change in approach in applying quarantine measures in England, Transport Secretary Grant 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.”