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Can I travel to Greece? The UK’s travel advice and quarantine rules explained after ‘air bridges’ removed for Greek islands



Greece is experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases, leading to fears it could be the next country to be re-added to England’s quarantine list

The Scottish government announced on Tuesday evening that travellers returning from the country would have to self-isolate for 14 days from Thursday.

Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos (Zante) have all been added to England’s quarantine list.

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Wales has added Mykonos, Zakynthos , Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos and Crete to its list.

The UK Government has said it will not hesitate to scrap quarantine exemptions for other countries where cases are on the rise.

This has put Greece high on the watchlist.

What is the current travel advice for Greece?

England has not imposed restrictions on people entering England from mainland Greece.

This means you are able to go there on holiday, and will be able to book travel insurance.

You will have to fill out a form before your arrival in Greece, which you can find here. You may also have to take a coronavirus test.

There are separate rules for the Greek islands. Anyone entering England from Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos after 4am on on Wednesday 9 September will have to self-isolate for two weeks.

Swimmers enjoy the sea at a beach near Athens (Photo: AP)

Scotland and Wales have introduced their own measures.

People arriving in Wales from Mykonos, Zakynthos, Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos and Crete must self-isolate for 14 days.

If you are returning to Scotland from Greece, you will also need to self-isolate on your return.

Could Greece be added to the UK’s quarantine list?

Gkikas Magiorkinis, an assistant professor of hygiene and epidemiology at Athens University, told The Guardian: “We can say that Greece has formally entered a second wave of the epidemic. This is the point that we could win or lose the battle.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak previously warned the Government will act quickly to reinstate quarantine rules where it feels necessary.

“It’s a tricky situation,” he said. “What I can say to people is we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and that means there is always the risk of disruption to travel plans and people need to bear that in mind.

“It’s the right thing for us to do to keep everything under review on a constant basis talking with our scientists, our medical advisers, and if we need to take action as you’ve seen overnight we will of course not hesitate to do that and we’re doing that to protect people’s health.”

Greece recorded 3,284 cases in the last 14 days to 18 September, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

A seven-day rate of 20 is the threshold above which the UK Government has considered triggering quarantine conditions, and Greece recorded 31.7 cumulative cases per 100,000 over the 14 days up to 18 September. This means there is a risk it could be added to the UK’s quarantine list.

However, it’s worth noting that the UK’s infection rate is currently much higher with 61.8 cases per 100,000 over the same period.

The UK has also recorded over 41,200 cases over the 14 days up to 18 September, according to the ECDC.

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