Wales has added the Greek islands of Santorini, Serifos and Tinos to its quarantine list. People travelling to Wales from the Greek islands must now quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in Wales. The new restrictions have been put in place due to a “rising number” of coronavirus cases in these areas, according to the Welsh Government said.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said he had made the decision after reviewing assessments by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC).
The new measures came into force at 4am this morning.
Last Thursday, the Welsh Government introduced quarantine measures 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.
Mr Gething has previously said that an “element” of coronavirus transmission in Wales is from people travelling back from Europe.
Wales has recorded the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases in months.
A local lockdown has even come into force in Caerphilly which is expected to last into next month.
On Monday, the UK government decided to add Greek islands to England’s quarantine list.
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The Greek islands of Crete, Lesbos, Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos were added to the quarantine list.
It comes as the UK government revealed it would be taking a new regional approach to its quarantine policy.
This means that islands can be added or removed from the quarantine list if their infection rates differ from their mainland countries.
Scotland has blanket quarantine measures in place for Greece which means anyone returning from mainland Greece or its surrounding islands to Scotland will need to quarantine for 14 days.
Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said that England’s decision on Monday was “unfortunate”.
He told Telegraph Travel: “It’s an unfortunate decision that we hope can be reversed or mitigated in due time.
“We feel we are doing everything in our power to keep people safe and we have the numbers to prove it.”
It was thought that more than 60,000 Britons were on the islands when they were added to the quarantine list.
The move has left Britons fuming after thousands rushed to return home to avoid quarantine.
Holidaymakers took to Twitter to express their anger at the situation.
One user said: “The @GOVUK are a joke. Crete had 4 cases yesterday.
“The UK has nearly 3,000. And we have to quarantine on the way home. Makes no sense.”
Another said: “Here in Eastern Crete there has been a mass exodus of (presumably) working Brits to try to get home by 4pm today so that they do not have to quarantine.
“All flights were quickly booked and of course all flight prices quickly went up to double and tripple. I’m still here.”
Another said: “Nearly 2 hours on the phone trying to change our flights to Crete next year. Same destination, same time of year, same seats. £167 extra.”
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