Most of Greece has been removed from the Government’s list of travel corridors after an increase in coronavirus cases, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.
Only people arriving in the UK from the islands of Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos – also known as Zante – and Kos will be exempt from the 14-day self-isolation requirement.
The countries added to the travel corridors list this week are: Bahrain, Cambodia, Chile, Iceland, Laos, Qatar, Turks and Caicos Islands and the United Arab Emirates.
The changes come into force on Saturday at 4am.
Meanwhile, 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 coronavirus in the country’s mink farms.
Greece was the last major European hotspot on the travel corridors list.
But the impact of its removal is limited due to existing coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Travel Corridor Update:BAHRAIN, CHILE, ICELAND, CAMBODIA, LAOS, UAE, QATAR and TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS have been ADDED to the #TravelCorridor list. If you arrive from these countries after 4am on Saturday 14th November you will NOT need to self-isolate. pic.twitter.com/wjw1JvUU8Q
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) November 12, 2020
The Department for Transport said there has been a “consistent increase in newly reported cases” in Greece over the past fortnight, from 6,965 in the week from October 22 to 16,429 in the week from November 5.
The Greek islands keeping their travel corridors “have not seen as significant a growth in cases over recent weeks as the rest of Greece” the department added.
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultants The PC Agency, said the additions to the travel corridors list were “highly significant” as it gives a “major boost to opening up long-haul travel from the UK again”.
He went on: “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.”