Scotland has added Greece to its quarantine list - here’s what to do if you have a holiday booked

By Helen Johnson
Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 2:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 2:24 pm
Greece is the latest country to have been added to Scotland’s travel quarantine list, after a recent spike in coronavirus cases (Photo: Shutterstock)

Greece is the latest country to have been added to Scotland’s travel quarantine list, after a recent spike in coronavirus cases.

Gov.scot explains the change in travel restrictions “is due to a significant rise in cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) being imported into Scotland by people who have been in Greece.”

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This comes after 16 coronavirus cases were linked to a Tui flight on 25 August, which brought tourists back to Cardiff from Zante, resulting in everyone on the flight being told to self-isolate for two weeks.

What does the quarantine mean?

Travellers returning to Scotland from Greece after 4am on Thursday 3 September will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Ministers have said they have taken this decision due to a "significant rise" in cases of Covid-19 being brought into Scotland from people who have recently been to Greece.

Greece has therefore been removed from the "travel corridor" exemption list for Scotland on public health grounds, but the country continues to be on the exemption list for England.

Although the prevalence of coronavirus in Greece currently remains lower than 20 per 100,000, a number of cases of the virus in Scotland have been traced back to travellers returning from Greece.

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.

"The flow of travel between Scotland and Greece, and the behaviour we have seen from some of those travellers, means that on public health grounds there is a strong case - supported by public health directors - to remove Greece from the exemption list."

Are there any restrictions in place in Greece?

The country now has numerous local restrictions in place, including in the popular holiday destination of Zante.

The FCO explains that “Local restrictions are in place on the islands of Paros, Antiparos and Zante/Zakynthos”

These include:

  • Suspension of any kind of live events and celebrations such as parties, trade fairs, religious ceremonies, open markets etc
  • Prohibition of operation of all food/catering sector-related shops, services and facilities from midnight - 7am the next day
  • A ban on gatherings of more than 9 people, either indoors or outdoors
  • A limit of 4 people per table in any restaurant, except for cases where the party consists of family members, where the limit is 6 people
  • Mandatory use of face masks in indoor and outdoor public spaces

What are the entry requirements for Greece?

Travel to Greece is subject to entry restrictions.

If you travel to Greece, you will need to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before travel.

Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a 500 Euro fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country, explains the FCO.

Every traveller, including children, must have their details included on a PLF, and if you’re travelling with others outside of your household, then you should all complete your own form.

If you’re travelling together as a household, then the Greek authorities ask for you to complete one form with all adults and children included.

You can add members of your household at the top of the form before you submit.

However, it’s worth noting that some airlines may require individual PLFs for every traveller over the age of 18 within the same household.

You should check directly with your airline in regards to what you will need to show in order to be allowed boarding.

What if I have a holiday booked?

Greece is currently exempt from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) advice against all non-essential international travel, but those returning to Scotland from Greece on or after 3 September will need to self-isolate on return.

Some airlines or travel companies may have changed their upcoming flights or holiday bookings to and from Scotland in response to the new changes, so it’s worth checking directly with your travel operator to see if anything has changed.