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02 September 2020 08:36

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Coronavirus: Greece added to Scotland's quarantine list as cases rise

Quarantine restrictions will be imposed on people travelling from Greece to Scotland, the Scottish government has announced. Ministers said they have taken the move due to a "significant rise" in cases of Covid-19 being brought into Scotland from people who have been to Greece. "With Scotland's relatively low infection rate, importation of new cases from Greece is a significant risk to public health." Scotland's chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith said: "There is a compelling public health risk around importation of the virus, especially given the number of imported cases linked to the Greek islands. People travelling to Scotland from the following countries are subject quarantine restrictions: Travellers arriving home to Wales from Zante are also being asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Wales' Health Minister Vaughan Gething said there were six clusters of cases, amounting to 30 infections, linked to flights from the Greek island.

Meanwhile, ministers are considering re-imposing quarantine measures for those arriving in the UK from Portugal as coronavirus cases rise, sources have told the BBC. The UK considers imposing quarantine on travellers when a country's infection rate exceeds 20 cases per 100,000, over seven days. England is facing pressure to reconsider quarantine rules for Greece after Scotland and Wales introduced new measures over concerns about rising coronavirus cases. The Scottish Government announced on Tuesday evening that travellers from Greece would have to self-isolate for 14 days from Thursday, while Wales also began asking arrivals from the island of Zante to begin the period of quarantine. But Wales' health minister Vaughan Gething said he would be pressing Boris Johnson's government for an urgent meeting to consider the potential risk in Greece.

But Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, announcing the restriction, said the "importations of new cases from Greece is a significant risk to public health". In Wales, Mr Gething said six clusters amounting to more than 30 cases of Covid-19 in the last week had come from four flights - two of which landed in England. He said that all passengers on a flight from Zante to Cardiff on Tuesday night would be told to quarantine and would be given two Covid-19 tests, one within 48 hours and another eight days after their return. He added: "There is an obvious need for us to consider the potential for changes to the regulations in Wales which would require travellers arriving in the UK from Greece and possibly elsewhere to self-isolate on their return." With thousands of Britons having travelled to Portugal since the country was exempted from quarantine measures on August 22, rising cases have prompted airlines to increase capacity as holidaymakers hurried to return in case restrictions are reimposed. There were 22.3 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in Portugal in the seven days to August 31, up from 14.5 a week earlier, according to figures calculated by the PA news agency based on data collected by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Scotland and Wales have introduced new quarantine measures for arrivals from Greece following concerns of a rise in coronavirus cases in the popular holiday destination. Travellers returning from the Mediterranean country will have to self-isolate for 14 days if they arrive back in Scotland after 4am on Thursday. Wales has also asked arrivals from Zante to quarantine for two weeks, but England is yet to introduce any new measures for the destinations. Travellers from Greece will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in Scotland from 4am Thurs morning (3 Sept). This is due to significant rise in cases of COVID-19 imported into Scotland by people who have been to Greece.

The new measures for Scotland come into force from 4am on September 3, meaning travellers who return from Greece after then will have to quarantine for 14 days. The Welsh Government has so far only asked people returning from the Greek island of Zante to self-isolate, with the measures already affecting arrivals on Tuesday evening. Those arriving in England from Greece – or specifically Zante – will not have to quarantine, although that could change in the coming days. The Scottish Government said there had been an increase in the number of coronavirus cases imported from the Mediterranean country, particularly from the Greek islands. Meanwhile, Wales' health and social services minister Vaughan Gething said six clusters, amounting to more than 30 Covid-19 cases, had come from four flights in the past week.

There were 14.0 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in Greece in the seven days to August 31, down from 14.9 a week earlier. If you plan to return from Greece to Scotland after September 3, you will have to self-isolate for 14 days. While people arriving from Greece to England do not have to quarantine, that could change in the coming days. There were 22.3 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in Portugal in the seven days to August 31, up from 14.5 a week earlier. Travellers arriving in Scotland from Greece will have to quarantine for two weeks following a "significant" spike in coronavirus cases. In Wales, people coming back from Zante are being asked to self-isolate for two weeks, after seven infections were discovered on a flight from the popular Greek island that landed in Cardiff on 25 August. Image: Wales is asking people coming from Zante to self-isolate for two weeks England was under pressure last night to impose quarantine measures on arrivals from Greece after Scotland and Wales announced new restrictions. Scotland will force holidaymakers returning from Greece to self-isolate from 4am tomorrow because of concerns over importing coronavirus cases. Wales said it would apply specific quarantine measures on all arrivals from the island of Zante but not the rest of Greece. Authorities in Westminster said there were no plans to impose quarantine on arrivals in England from Greece.