HOLIDAY plans to the Greek islands have been left in tatters following the UK government's announcement yesterday, placing seven of them on the quarantine list.
They join France, Spain, Malta and Croatia, among other countries, where Brits have to self-isolate for two weeks back in the UK.
The UK government announced yesterday plans for regional air bridges instead, to allow parts of popular holiday destinations to remain off the quarantine list if the coronavirus outbreaks are only affecting certain regions.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps explained yesterday: "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.”
Countries or regions are placed on the UK quarantine list if they see more than 20 new daily cases per 100,000 population, over a seven day period.
We've explained what you need to know about the countries which remain off the quarantine list for now.
Caution is advised if booking holidays far in advance, as the travel advice can change at short notice.
Can I go on holiday to Portugal?
Portugal remains off the quarantine list for arrivals into England.
However, anyone arriving into Wales from mainland Portugal or Scotland from both the mainland and the islands will have to quarantine.
Boris Johnson is facing pressure to add the country to the rest of the UK's quarantine restrictions, after cases have continued to climb since it was removed from the list on August 22.
According to Mr Charles, Portugal is above the 20 mark which puts a country at risk of restrictions, at 24.3, with the country reporting 60,507 cases.
Holidays can still go ahead, but Brits are advised that travel restrictions are likely to change at the last minute.
The government usually make the announcement on Thursday evenings, and are in place by Saturday at 4am, although this was not the case for the Greek islands, enforced by tomorrow.
There are also some entry restrictions – if heading to Madeira, you will need to fill in a questionnaire 48 hours before travel, along with a negative coronavirus test 72 hours before travel. You will also face a health screening on arrival.
If heading to the Azores, you will need a negative coronavirus test taken 72 hours before travelling, and anyone staying longer than seven days will need to take a second test.
Mainland Portugal has no entry restrictions apart from a health screening on arrival.
Can I go on holiday to Greece?
You can still go on holiday to Greece – depending on where you fly and where you return.
If travelling to and from England, mainland Greece as well as islands such as Corfu and Kos can still go ahead.
The islands facing quarantine restrictions from tomorrow are Zante, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Lesvos, Tinos and Serifos.
If travelling to and from Wales, mainland Greece holidays can also still go ahead, as well as some island holidays such as Santorini and Corfu.
The islands already on the Welsh quarantine list are Mykonos, Zante, Lesvos, Paros, Antiparos and Crete.
Any holiday to Greece from Scotland will result in a two-week quarantine back in the country.
The country's daily cases remain at just 13.1, according to Mr Charles, but this does not differentiate between regions – total cases are currently 11,663, with the highest daily increase since the crisis began on August 26.
Travel advice can also change at the last minute – although the advice for Greece is unlikely to this week, following the regional quarantine announcement yesterday.
Anyone travelling to Greece must also fill in a Passenger Locator Form before arriving – failure to show the relevant QR code will result in a €500 fine or being turned away at the border.
- Seven nights with return flights with easyJet on September 17 – from £159pp (or £352pp all-inclusive)
- Four nights with return flights with TUI on September 14 – from £197pp
- Seven nights with return flights with Jet2 on September 18 – from £240pp (or £442pp all-inclusive)
Can I go on holiday to Italy?
Italy remains off the quarantine list for the whole of the UK.
However, the country may be the next to see regional quarantine restrictions, as a rise in cases is confirmed.
According to Mr Charles, Sardinia is likely to be next, while Sicily is also under threat, according to the Times.
Italy was once one of the lowest in regard to new daily cases, but has since jumped to 15.7, close to the 20 mark – coronavirus cases are 278,784.
- Five nights in Sicily with return flights with easyJet – from £237pp
- Five nights in Sardinia with return flights with easyJet – from £370pp
- Seven nights half-board with return flights with TUI – from £499pp (or all-inclusive from £599)
The travel industry is calling for mass testing at airports to end the quarantine measures, but ministers have so far resisted the calls adding testing isn't a "silver bullet solution".
More than 30 countries, including France and Germany, have introduced mass testing at airports, with people only required to quarantine if their test comes back positive.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also warned single tests at the border "don't work."
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