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Coronavirus: 7 Greek Islands Added to UK Quarantine List

Coronavirus: 7 Greek Islands Added to UK Quarantine List

Seven Greek islands have been added to UK quarantine liust. So now the travellers from those places will have to self-isolate for 14 days from 04:00 BST on Wednesday, Grant Shapps has said.

The islands affected are Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete and Zakynthos (also known as Zante).

He added that if someone was unable to quarantine for 14 days after returning to the UK "it might be best not to travel."

Mr Shapps said the new quarantine policy for seven Greek islands will come into effect from 4am on Wednesday as there was a "significant risk t UK public health from those islands".

But mainland Greece will remain on England's exemption list of COVID-19 "travel corridors".

Mr Shapps said "enhanced data" allowed the UK to pinpoint risk in islands, providing flexibility to add or remove them as infection rates change.

Travellers arriving in Wales from six Greek islands must already quarantine.

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

Speaking to MPs in the Commons, the transport secretary said: "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."

Mr Shapps said the coronavirus infection rate was still too high in Spain's Balearic and Canary Islands.

He said the government was "working actively on the practicalities" of using coronavirus testing to cut the 14-day quarantine period for people arriving in the UK from high-risk countries.

Purely testing people on arrival "would not work", Mr Shapps said, but quarantine combined with testing was "more promising."

"My officials are now working with health experts with the aim of cutting the quarantine period without adding to infection risk or infringing our overall NHS test capacity," he said.

Mr Shapps also told MPs that the DfT is "working actively" on reducing the 14-day quarantine requirement - but he said that only testing people for COVID-19 on arrival "would not work".

Cabinet colleague Matt Hancock said earlier that he is trying to reduce the isolation period down to eight days.

The health secretary explained that one test at the border "doesn't work" as the virus can incubate - meaning it is not able to be picked up in the early stages.

Asked if travellers could then get a second test after eight days' quarantine which if returned a negative result could release them, he said "I'm not just made aware of it, I'm working with Grant Shapps" on the plan.

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