UK Government resisting Greece quarantine despite Welsh and Scottish concerns
The UK Government has said that it will continue to allow travellers to arrive from Greece without quarantining despite Scotland and Wales concerns of rising coronavirus cases.
Wales has begun asking arrivals from the Greek island of Zante to begin the period of quarantine, with health minister Vaughan Gething pressing the UK government to reconsider the rules for Greece.
At least 16 people tested positive following a TUI flight from Zante to Cardiff Airport last week.
Travellers returning to Scotland from Greece must also now quarantine for 14 days from Thursday amid a surge in coronavirus cases, the Scottish government has announced.
However, the Department for Transport said no change to its rules for England had been made on Tuesday.
Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething said on Tuesday that there were “concerns from our public health teams that the current advice and control measures for returning travellers are insufficient”.
He said that six clusters in Wales amounting to more than 30 cases of Covid-19 in the last week had come from four flights from Greece, two of which landed in England.
The Welsh Government said it would be asking travellers arriving home to Wales from Zante to self-isolate for 14 days, he said.
On Sunday, data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control revealed there had been 21.2 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in Greece over the past 14 days. In comparison, the rate in the UK was 18.6 cases per 100,000 people.
Scottish justice secretary Humza Yousaf also said that the “importations of new cases from Greece is a significant risk to public health”.
He said “regular discussions continue” with the other three UK governments over restrictions.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said yesterday that international passengers who are not self-isolating on their return are spreading further cases of Covid-19 in Wales.
He said he was “concerned” after consultants in Communicable Disease Control told him of a number of examples of Covid-19 positive travellers not self-isolating.
“It is almost certain that travellers returning to Wales from areas of higher Covid-19 incidence will lead to further seeding of infections within Wales,” he said.
“Travel into Wales from mainland Europe drove the first wave of Covid-19.
“Without action, it is likely that there will be significant health and economic impacts arising from new clusters of infections and renewed disease transmission in Wales.”
TUI has announced that they are stopping trips to the island’s party resort of Laganas as social distancing is being ignored.