Holidays to FIVE Greek islands are BACK ON

Holidays to FIVE Greek islands including Santorini and Zakynthos are BACK ON as Grant Shapps gives them the green light and confirms no countries are going onto the quarantine ‘red list’ this week

  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps this evening announced changes to ‘red list’ 
  • He announced travel to five Greek islands will no longer require quarantine
  • He also said no countries are being added to the quarantine ‘red list’ this week 

Holidays to five Greek islands are back on after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps unveiled the latest changes to the Government’s travel quarantine ‘red list’. 

Mr Shapps said travel from Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Santorini and Zakynthos will no longer require self-isolation upon arrival back in England from this weekend. 

He also revealed that no countries are being added to the ‘red list’ this week.

Last week Mr Shapps added Turkey and Poland to the quarantine list as well as the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba. 

Mr Shapps tweeted this evening: ‘TRAVEL CORRIDOR UPDATE: We are ADDING Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Santorini and Zakynthos to the #TravelCorridor list this week. 

‘From 4am Saturday 10th Oct, if you arrive from those Greek islands, you will NO LONGER need to self-isolate. We are not REMOVING any countries.’ 

He added: ‘REMINDER: You MUST complete a Passenger Locator Form by law if you enter the UK from ANY location (travel corridor or otherwise) to protect public health and help keep everyone safe.’ 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today announced that five Greek islands are being added to the Government’s travel corridors list

Mr Shapps’ announcement came the day after the Government launched a task force to develop a Covid-19 testing system for travellers arriving in the UK.

The Government said the group will ‘identify options to reduce the self-isolation period while protecting public health’.

Anyone arriving in the UK from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days unless they have travelled from an exempt destination.

The UK’s travel sector has repeatedly called for testing at airports to be introduced as a way of reducing quarantine periods for those who get a negative result.

Mr Shapps said: ‘The current measures at the border have saved lives.

‘Our understanding of the science now means we can intensify efforts to develop options for a testing regime and help reinvigorate our world-leading travel sector.

‘This new task force will not only help us move towards safer, smoother international travel as we continue to battle this virus but will also support global connectivity – helping facilitate more Covid-secure travel whilst protecting the population from imported cases.’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘It is vital we do everything we can to control the spread of the virus and our measures at the borders are designed to help keep the country safe, by preventing imported cases of Covid-19.

‘We know how these measures have a significant impact on people’s lives and on the travel and tourism industries, so we are working hard across Government to explore ways to open up international travel in a safe way.’

The Global Travel Taskforce will assess the feasibility of travellers being released from quarantine early after paying a private sector firm for a single Covid-19 test following a period of self-isolation. 

The group will be jointly chaired by Mr Shapps and Mr Hancock, and will look at how a testing operation could be rolled out. 

It will consult with the aviation, travel, healthcare and coronavirus testing sectors, and is expected to make initial recommendations next month.

The chief executives of Heathrow Airport, Manchester Airports Group, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic said in a joint statement that the creation of the task force represented a ‘step in the right direction’. 

Hopes for an airport testing breakthrough this week look set to be dashed after ministers decided to launch another review of the issue. The coronavirus testing facility at Heathrow is pictured above

‘We support the decision to opt for a single test, private sector-led, passenger-funded approach, that does not impact on the NHS in any way,’ they said.

‘But travellers need a firm commitment that a comprehensive testing regime will be implemented in early November.

‘A test on day five, which the Government’s own conservative evidence said would be “highly effective” and which they’re already doing in Germany, should be the starting point.

‘Without a rapid move to testing, the UK will fall even further behind our competitors and the economic recovery will fail to get off the ground.’

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