Greek islands of Santorini, Serifos and Tinos are added to Wales’s quarantine list amid rising number of Covid cases
- Holidaymakers travelling to Wales from islands must now self-isolate for 14 days
- Kicked in at 4am giving sunseekers on the islands 6 hours to travel back home
- Islands, along with Crete, Lesbos, Mykonos and Zakynthos – are on England’s list
The Greek islands of Santorini, Serifos and Tinos were added to Wales’s quarantine list last night after the popular Greek islands saw a ‘rising number’ of coronavirus cases.
Holidaymakers travelling to Wales from the islands must now self-isolate for 14 days after they touch down back home from 4am today – giving sunseekers already on the islands just six hours to get back before the deadline.
The islands, along with Crete, Lesbos, Mykonos and Zakynthos – were already on England’s quarantine list following an announcement by the UK Government on Monday.
The Greek islands of Santorini, Serifos (pictured) and Tinos were added to Wales’s quarantine list last night after the popular Greek islands saw a ‘rising number’ of coronavirus cases
Holidaymakers travelling to Wales from the islands (including Tinos, pictured) must now self-isolate for 14 days after they touch down back home from 4am today
The measures gave sunseekers already on the islands (including Santorini, pictured) just six hours to travel back before the deadline.
Greece’s current infection rate is at around 19 cases per 100,000 – well below the threshold of 20.
Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said he had made the decision after reviewing assessments by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC).
Mr Gething has previously said that an ‘element’ of coronavirus transmission in Wales is from people travelling back from Europe.
Greece’s current infection rate is at around 19 cases per 100,000 – well below the threshold of 20
The islands, along with Crete, Lesbos, Mykonos and Zakynthos – were already on England’s quarantine list following an announcement by the UK Government on Monday
Furious sunseekers took to social media to vent their frustration at the 11th hour quarantine measures.
Lucille Victoria said she wasn’t given enough time to ‘book an earlier flight and try and get home’.
She wrote: ‘There is not a single reported case here in Santorini. Not even enough time given to book an earlier flight and try and get home after visiting my family here. What a ridiculous decision.’
Greece records new cases by region – rather than by islands – meaning assessing the risk per island is difficult.
Wales has seen the highest number of positive Covid-19 cases in months and a local lockdown, expected to last until at least October, has come into force in Caerphilly.
Lucille Victoria said she wasn’t given enough time to ‘book an earlier flight and try and get home’
On Tuesday, Public Health Wales reported that 150 people had tested positive for coronavirus, representing the highest daily figure since May 20.
There were no further deaths in people with the virus, with the total in Wales since the beginning of the pandemic remaining at 1,597.
Last Thursday, the Welsh Government introduced the measure for Portugal, Gibraltar, French Polynesia and six other Greek islands – Mykonos, Zakynthos, Lesbos, Paros, Antiparos and Crete.
Speaking at the time, Mr Gething said there has been a ‘rising tide of infections’ from the Greek islands and the quarantine requirement is necessary to keep Wales safe.
On Monday Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed on Monday that Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos are being stripped of quarantine exempt status in England as of 4am on Wednesday.
This forms part of the UK Government’s new regional approach to quarantine policy, in which islands can be added or removed from the quarantine list should infection rates differ from their mainland countries.
Since the announcement, tourists have had to scramble to make alternative plans, with many frantically booking last-minute flights so they don’t have to self-isolate for two weeks once back in Britain.
Flight operators TUI and Jet2 have cancelled holidays to the Greek islands of Crete, Santorini, Zakynthos and Mykonos due to the new quarantine rules.
The quarantine arrangements have been cast into further doubt as the UK’s number of cases are now nearing the threshold at which it imposes isolation rules on other countries
Meanwhile, EasyJet has announced it is cutting flights following the government’s decision.
Amid the travel chaos, the rush to return home is now underway, though unimpressed travellers have blasted the government.
Nikki Funnell, from Chester, is in Santorini with her husband Simon. She told MailOnline: ‘It’s far safer in Santorini than the UK. Social distancing is in place here and I think it’s a massive shame for the Greek tourism industry.
‘I think the UK government are trying to deflect the blame onto other countries for the increase in cases in the UK, which is clearly not true.
‘I would much rather be here than at home, it’s definitely so much safer. Luckily myself and Simon work from home, however I will have to cancel any plans I have when I return as now have to stay in. Our friend James will have to take 2 weeks off work.’
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