Holidays to Greek islands back on as five are added to quarantine-free list

Greek holidays are back on after the Government added five of the country’s islands to the quarantine exemption list.

Holidaymakers returning from British favourites Zakinthos – also known as Zante – and Santorini, along with Lesvos, Serifos and Tinos, will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days.

The change will come into place from 4am on Saturday and follows a drop in new coronavirus infections in the tourist hotspots.

Tourists will also likely welcome the fact no countries are being removed from the travel corridor list either.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted on Thursday: “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.”

Mainland Greece is already on the list, along with Cyprus, Italy, Germany, Finland and Gibraltar.

Thailand, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore and Ireland are also among the countries exempt from quarantine.

Ministers introduced the quarantine rule during the summer in a bid to prevent coronavirus cases from being imported into the UK.

But the policy has been controversial, as countries like Spain were removed from the exemption list at short notice.

It often left panicked holidaymakers to scramble back to the UK in time to beat quarantine, often shelling out a fortune for last-minute flights and trains.

  • Warnings coronavirus could stay around 'forever' if people can get re-infected

The travel sector has repeatedly called for testing to be introduced at airports in order to slash self-isolation periods for people who get a negative result.

And it finally led the Government this week to unveil a task force to develop a Covid-19 testing system for travellers arriving in the UK.

Meanwhile, Italy has introduced compulsory coronavirus testing for UK visitors.

Minister of health Roberto Speranza said arrivals from European countries "at greater risk" – such as the UK, France and Spain – must provide evidence of a negative test taken in the 72 hours before travel.

Visitors unable to provide proof of a negative result at the border have to take a test in Italy.

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