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UPDATE 1-England adds seven Greek islands to coronavirus quarantine list

Mon, 7th Sep 2020 16:49

(Updates with government announcement)

LONDON, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Seven Greek islands have been
added to the list of countries from which travellers must
quarantine when entering England to try to curb the spread of
the new coronavirus, British transport minister Grant Shapps
said on Monday.

Shapps told parliament that improved access to data meant he
could now decide rules on an island-by-island basis depending on
COVID-19 infection rates.

Passengers arriving from Lesbos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos,
Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos will from 0300 GMT on Wednesday
have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival in England, he said.

The announcement was part of a new policy allowing different
rules to be applied to different islands within states.

"For the first time, we have the data and the capacity to
add and remove specific islands from quarantine while still
providing maximum protection to the UK public," he said.

Britain's constituent nations have different quarantine
policies. Last week, Wales added six Greek islands to its list,
and Scotland put arrivals from all Greece under restrictions.

Airlines and tour companies have sought a change in the
rules. Spain has urged Britain to adopt more flexible rules so
that British tourists visiting areas such as the Balearic
Islands, where there are fewer coronavirus cases than on
mainland Spain, do not have to quarantine on their return home.

Shapps said infection rates in the Balearic and Canary
Islands remained too high to be removed from the quarantine
list.

Health minister Matt Hancock said earlier on Monday that
Britain was looking at ways to reduce the quarantine period,
possibly by requiring travellers to take a test eight days after
arrival.
(Writing by William Schomberg, editing by William James and
Timothy Heritage)

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