Arrivals from 7 Greek Islands now have to quarantine as government unveils ‘regional’ travel corridors

Sep 7, 2020

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The U.K. is beginning a “regional travel corridors” approach to its international travel regulations. Transport Secretary Grant Schapps unveiled in a Commons statement on Monday that the government would be looking at specific areas of a country, rather than an entire country going forward. As part of that, while Greece as a country remains on the travel corridors list, travellers arriving in England from seven Greek Islands will soon have to quarantine.

As of 4 a.m. on Wednesday, 9 September, travellers arriving in England from the following seven Greek Islands will be required to quarantine for 14 days: Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos.

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Although the seven Greek Islands are now removed from the travel corridors list, travellers arriving from other areas of Greece, including the mainland, still do not have to quarantine on arrival in England.

By partnering with other governments and their health officials to establish safe international travel corridors, Schapps said the government can now more accurately analyse countries where there is a natural land barrier, such as an island.

Even if the mainland is deemed too risky, Schapps said the government will now consider approving an island. At this time, however, the government is still not opening up some islands, such as the Balearics and Canary Islands, which still have a high rate of infection.

Since July, England has taken a travel corridors approach. Combined with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s advice on how safe it is to travel. However, the government’s approach has evaluated countries on a single basis, rather than looking at islands and other natural barriers within a country.

In Schapps’ statement on Monday, he also confirmed that the government doesn’t plan to revise its much-debated two-week quarantine period in favour of mass testing on arrival. Airport and airline executives have long pushed for the option for travellers from non-exempt countries to be able to take a coronavirus test on arrival to avoid the two-week quarantine. However, Schapps said the government doesn’t plan on approving it soon.

Featured photo by Matteo Colombo/Getty Images.

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