Seven Greek islands added to England's quarantine list - what you need to know

By Group Reporter
Monday, 7th September 2020, 5:11 pm
Updated Monday, 7th September 2020, 5:18 pm
Zakynthos (also known as Zante) is among the Greek islands added to England's quarantine list (Photo: Shutterstock)
Zakynthos (also known as Zante) is among the Greek islands added to England's quarantine list (Photo: Shutterstock)

Anyone arriving in England from seven Greek islands will have to self-isolate for 14 days from 4am on Wednesday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

However, mainland Greece will maintain its coronavirus quarantine-exemption.

Which Greek islands are affected?

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the Greek islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos (also known as Zante) are losing their quarantine-exemptions.

This is because data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England “has indicated a significant risk to UK public health from those islands”.

The decision brings England partly into line with Wales, which removed six Greek islands from its quarantine-free list last week. However, the Welsh Government has also removed the quarantine-free status of Paros and Antiparos, but not Tinos, Serifos or Santorini.

The Scottish government has imposed quarantine restrictions on the whole nation of Greece.

Regional approach to quarantine list

This is the first time the Government has applied a regional approach to its quarantine policy for international arrivals.

Mr 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.”

The UK Government’s regional policy will only apply to land that has a “clear boundary” – such as an island – and “internationally comparable data” on coronavirus cases, the DfT added.

Mr Shapps said that no islands will immediately be added to England’s list.

He said: “When we removed Spain from the travel corridor list there were 24 cases per 100,000. Today there are 127 cases and it remains too high in the Balearic and Canary Islands as well.”