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Scotland: Quarantine restrictions for travellers from Greece

Quarantine restrictions will be imposed on people travelling from Greece to Scotland, the Scottish government has announced, BBC reported late on Tuesday. Travellers from Greece will be required to isolate for 14 days if they arrive in Scotland after 04:00 on Thursday.

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.

It has been linked to travellers returning from the Greek islands.

As a result the country has been being removed from the “travel corridor” exemption list on public health grounds.

It is believed the prevalence of Covid-19 in Greece currently remains lower than 20 per 100,000 but a number of cases of the virus in Scotland have been traced back to travel from Greece.

They include a passenger who flew to Glasgow from Zante on 23 August.

‘Significant risk’

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We are in the midst of a global pandemic and the situation in many countries can change suddenly.

“Therefore, people should think very hard before committing to non-essential travel abroad.

“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.

“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.”

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.

Mike Tibbert, vice president of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association, said he is “extremely concerned” about the workload being placed on its members by the changing quarantine rules.

“The removal of Greece in this ongoing hokey-cokey of countries which are ‘in or out’ means it’s impossible for Scots to plan or reorganise a holiday which they have already paid for. And equally impossible for our members to run a business,” he said.

See also which countries are on Scotland’s quarantine list on BBC

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