Scotland adds Greece to quarantine list: Here’s what it means for holidaymakers

Scotland and Wales have introduced new quarantine measures for arrivals from Greece following concerns of a rise in coronavirus cases in the popular holiday destination.

Travellers returning from the Mediterranean country will have to self-isolate for 14 days if they arrive back in Scotland after 4am on Thursday.

Wales has also asked arrivals from Zante to quarantine for two weeks, but England is yet to introduce any new measures for the destinations.

Here is what it will mean for holidaymakers:

– When will I have to self-isolate?

The new measures for Scotland come into force from 4am on September 3, meaning travellers who return from Greece after then will have to quarantine for 14 days.

The Welsh Government has so far only asked people returning from the Greek island of Zante to self-isolate, with the measures already affecting arrivals on Tuesday evening.

Those arriving in England from Greece – or specifically Zante – will not have to quarantine, although that could change in the coming days.

– Why is this happening?

The Scottish Government said there had been an increase in the number of coronavirus cases imported from the Mediterranean country, particularly from the Greek islands.

Meanwhile, Wales’ health and social services minister Vaughan Gething said six clusters, amounting to more than 30 Covid-19 cases, had come from four flights in the past week.

There were 14.0 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in Greece in the seven days to August 31, down from 14.9 a week earlier.

A seven-day rate of 20 is the threshold above which the UK Government considers triggering quarantine conditions.

In the UK, the seven-day rate is 13.9, according to figures calculated by the PA news agency based on data collected by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Coronavirus
Vaughan Gething, Welsh cabinet secretary for health and social services (Isabel Infantes/PA)

– I’ve got a holiday booked to Greece, what should I do?

If you plan to return from Greece to Scotland after September 3, you will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

While people arriving from Greece to England do not have to quarantine, that could change in the coming days.

Mr Gething said he had asked for a meeting with the UK Government and the other devolved nations to discuss further measures on Wednesday.

– Are travel restrictions likely to change for any other countries?

There is growing speculation the UK Government could reimpose quarantine measures for arrivals from Portugal.

There were 22.3 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in Portugal in the seven days to August 31, up from 14.5 a week earlier.

Coronavirus – Sat Aug 22, 2020
Passengers in the arrivals hall at Heathrow Airport (Aaron Chown/PA)

– What about employers whose workers have to go into quarantine?

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab previously said no worker following quarantine guidance should be penalised by employers, including by being put on to sick pay.

He said that if someone is following the law in relation to quarantine and self-isolating, “they can’t have penalties taken against them”.

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