UK has four different quarantine rules

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Yesterday the Westminster government made a major change to the way it introduces quarantine measures for passengers returning to the UK.

image from the air of Mykonos
Mykonos – no quarantine if you return to Northern Ireland but there is for those returning to the other three home nations

Up until then it had introduced quarantine restrictions for people coming in from countries. On Monday it signalled it would refine this thinking so that regions of countries would be considered.

By regions it really means islands so it promptly introduced 14 day quarantine restrictions for anyone returning to the UK from the following islands; Crete, Lesvos, (Lesbos) Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos, and Zakynthos (Zante.)

The restrictions come into force at 4am on Wednesday the 9th September.

This is welcome news because it opens up the possibility of particular islands in Spain, ( islands in the Balearics and the Canaries) Croatia, and France (Corsica) being opened up before the mainland might be.

There was some relief by the travel industry that the decision by Westminster would be a little more forensic rather than being all-embracing. But, trilled the travel trade, it should have been instituted before the great summer holiday rush and they are probably right. Many places such as the Canaries would probably still have been able to see more more British holidaymakers.

However it does leave confusion as all four nations now have different rules for Greece. In Northern Ireland there is quarantine if you return there. But in Scotland people returning from any part of Greece must self-quarantine. The Greek mainland attracts no quarantine regulations if you return to England but there is quarantine if you have been to those seven islands. Note that Corfu and Rhodes are open for holidays still.

But Wales also has a forensic system and it put islands on the quarantine list last week, the difference being that it has different named ones, Antiparos, Crete, Lesbos, Mykonos, Paros and Zakynthos. Only Crete, Lesbos, Mykonos, and Zakynthos are common with England.

Wales has decided holidaymakers returning from Antiparos and Paros are at risk whilst England doesn’t agree. England says that holidaymakers returning from Santorini, Serifos and Tinos are at risk but Wales thinks otherwise. Northern Ireland says there is risk whilst Scotland thinks the whole of Greece is a risk.

What do I do if I live in Wales but fly back to Gatwick having been to Santorini? I quarantine, I suppose, but in my home in Wales.

This is going to be very confusing, quite upsetting for some and downright irrational to many.

Please get your acts together all four governments and speak as one. All you are doing at present is antagonising voters by your different interpretations.

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