Travel updates: Quarantine for Britons in Greece, even if you test negative

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British holidaymakers will be subject to a quarantine on arriving in Greece, unless they have travelled from certain UK airports.

This morning the Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis said the restrictions on people arriving from most UK airports will make a holiday in Greece ‘difficult’. 

Anyone flying into Greece from an airport deemed by the EU’s aviation safety agency (EASA) to be an area with “high risk of transmission of Covid-19” will face a coronavirus test, and compulsory quarantine of at least seven days, regardless of the result. This includes major hubs of Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester airports.

Some UK airports, however, including Bristol, Edinburgh and London Southend, are not on the EASA list.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Mr Theoharis clarified how the quarantine system will work.  “For the rest of the airports, testing is mandatory and for a single day you wait for the test results.

“If it is a negative result, then it is effectively a self-imposed quarantine of seven days but you can go ahead to your destination.

“If, however, it is a positive result then it is a supervised quarantine for longer than seven days.” He added: “It does mean that there is an inconvenience in the first few days.

“That’s why this is not going to be for the masses. It has to mean you have more time.”

Yesterday, Greece was forced to confront the risks of rebooting international tourism, after authorities found that 12 out of 91 passengers on board a Qatar Airlines flight to Athens had tested positive for Covid-19.

The Greek civil protection ministry reacted by suspending all air links to and from Qatar until June 15, and put all 91 passengers on the flight into quarantine.

“We knew there would be such cases. We’ve seen what can happen this summer,” said Prof Nikolaos Sipsas, an expert in infectious diseases. 

“The safest [thing] would be not to open up to tourism but that would mean huge economic destruction,” said Sipsas. “The first thing we have to do is divide countries of origin into safe and unsafe [categories]. That creates certain diplomatic pressure, but for us the first priority is public health.” 

As it stands, anyone arriving into the UK (including returning holidaymakers) after June 8 will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. The FCO advises against all but essential travel.

Follow the latest news below.

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9:56AM

How can Global Britain impose a quarantine on travellers? 

“The Government has failed to provide adequate justification for a plan that would do huge damage to our economy and international standing.”

Read the Telegraph’s view on the 14-day quarantine, here.

9:51AM

The countries looking to pay for your next holiday

As countries begin to reopen to tourists this summer, some locations are hoping to lure visitors back with discounts, and in some cases, even offers of a partially paid-for holiday. 

Mexico, Japan, Sicily and Bulgaria have all suggested deals– in Cancún, some resorts are offering two nights free for every two nights booked.

See if you could be tempted, here.

9:38AM

Cruises around Britain could be on this summer

There is a glimmer of hope for Britons looking for their cruise fix this summer after Viking teased the possibility of operating summer sailings around the UK, Benjamin Parker reports.

The tentative plans first appeared in an email to customers, when the cruise line said it could “be a wonderful opportunity to explore some beautiful destinations close to home”.

One cruise agency said the decision had its full support, while Telegraph cruise writer Dave Monk said: “If Viking can pull this off, it would be great news for British cruise lovers who are unable, or unwilling, to travel abroad during the summer.”

Read the full story, here.

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