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Seven Greek islands added to quarantine list as rule change revealed

Written by on 7 September 2020

Seven Greek islands have been added to England’s quarantine list – affecting travellers returning from Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos.

It comes as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the rules are changing on which areas anyone coming back from must isolate for two weeks.

Instead of a whole-country approach, individual islands will be able to be treated differently.

Mr Shapps said the new quarantine policy for seven Greek islands will come into effect from 4am on Wednesday.

But mainland Greece will remain on England’s exemption list of “travel corridors”.

The transport secretary called coronavirus a “dreadful disease” that can “take us all – holidaymakers included – by surprise”.

He explained the move to treat islands differently was not yet able to happen for regions within a country’s mainland territory.

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It follows anger and confusion from some holidaymakers hit by last-minute changes.

Several have complained that countries added to the quarantine list have seen coronavirus cases growing in a particular region on the mainland – but the islands are still largely safe.

That was the case when Spain was added to the list in July due to a spike of infections in three northeastern regions.

Why countries are added to UK quarantine lists

The move also hit sun-seekers on the Balearic and Canary Islands – leaving some questioning why, given the popular destinations had much lower rates of COVID-19.

England’s approach follows that of Wales – which last week added some Greek islands to its quarantine list and exempted several Portuguese islands.

Meanwhile Scotland has added the whole of Greece to its quarantine list.