Greece and Portugal kept off travel quarantine list as government issues warning

Greece and Portugal have been kept off the travel quarantine list despite coronavirus cases rising.

It was thought that Portugal would be put back on the list after passing the threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 people with 23 cases.

And there was concern that following a number of cases from travellers returning from Zante in Greece that it may have also been added to the list despite its rates being 14.3 cases per 100,000 people – well below the threshold.

The Scottish Government already required travellers from the country to self-isolate for 14 days from today, while Wales has imposed the measure on arrivals from the islands of Zante, Mykonos, Zakynthos, Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos and Crete.

The Welsh government has also added mainland Portugal to its quarantine list although the Azores and Madeira will remain exempt, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said.

The new regulations will come into force at 4am on Friday.

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Greece has remained off the quarantine travel list

But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said there will be no changes to England’s quarantine list today.

He tweeted: “We continue to keep the Travel Corridor list under constant review & won’t hesitate to remove countries if needed. However, there are no English additions or removals today.”

But Mr Shapps warned: “Nonetheless, holidaymakers are reminded – 14-day quarantine countries can & do change at very short notice”.

He added: “Travel Corridor factors taken into account by JBC & Ministers inc: COVID-19 prevalence; level & rate of change; extent of in-country tests, regime & test positivity; extent of contained outbreak as opposed to general transmission; govt actions & other epidemiological information.”

Tour operator TUI has said it would no longer be offering holidays to the resort of Laganas on Zante from Thursday.

Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui UK and Ireland, said: “The recent cases in Wales have highlighted a demographic of customers that have recently returned from Zante and subsequently tested positive.

As the only airline that flies between Cardiff and Zante it has allowed us to understand trends that may also be seen in other areas of the UK.”

The new measures follow reports that passengers on a flight from Zante to Cardiff last week did not adhere to coronavirus rules.

Public Health Wales has confirmed at least 16 cases of Covid-19 from three different parties who were on Tui flight 6215 to Cardiff on August 25.

Seven of those were infectious at the time of flying and all 193 passengers have been told to self-isolate, it said.

One traveller claimed that the flight was full of “selfish ‘covidiots’”, with passengers not wearing their masks properly and disregarding the rules.

Last week Switzerland, Jamaica and Czech Republic were added to the list of countries requiring travellers to self-isolate upon return to the UK. They joined France, Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago from last month.

In July Spain was dramatically added giving holidaymakers just hours to get back to the UK to avoid quarantine, creating chaos.

source.



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