Nearly all Greek islands have been removed from the UK’s safe travel corridor list

Almost all of the islands in Greece have been removed from the UK government’s list of safe travel corridors following a rise in Covid cases.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Greece will be removed from the quarantine exemption list at 4am on Saturday 14 November, but several islands will remain on it, the Transport Secretary has confirmed.

Only people who arrive in the UK from the islands of Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes and Zakynthos (also known as Zante) will be exempt from the 14 day self-isolation requirement.

Why was Greece removed?

Greece was the last major European tourist hotspot still remaining on the travel corridor list, but the impact of its removal is limited due to existing Covid lockdown restrictions which has seen travel banned in England, unless for essential reasons.

The Department for Transport said there has been a consistent increase in new Covid cases reported in Greece over the last fortnight, rising from 6,965 in the week beginning 22 October, up to 16,429 in the week beginning 5 November.

The Greek islands that still remain on the travel corridor list have not seen a significant growth in cases over recent weeks, unlike the rest of the country.

Other travel corridors opened

Conversely, several countries have been added to the travel corridor list this week, including Bahrain, Cambodia, Chile, Iceland, Laos, Qatar, Turks and Caicos Islands and the United Arab Emirates.

These countries will all be exempt from quarantine restrictions from 4am on Saturday 14 November.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultants The PC Agency, said the additions to the travel corridor list were significant, as it is a step towards opening up long-haul travel from the UK again.

He said, “Unlocking Gulf hubs such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar enables UK travellers to reach most corners of the world to the east and south. Chile also opens up South America.

“These moves show that the government is serious about connecting the UK to the world again despite the pandemic.”

However, the ban on people arriving in the UK from Denmark has been extended for a further 14 days. The rule was implemented last week following widespread outbreaks of Covid-19 in the country’s mink farms.