Greece exodus begins as flight prices skyrocket

Greg Dickinson
·28 min read
Santorini has lost its travel corridor with England - Getty
Santorini has lost its travel corridor with England - Getty

Tens of thousands of holidaymakers in Greece have under 24 hours to return to England, as seven Greek islands yesterday lost their ‘travel corridor’ and had a quarantine reimposed.

British holidaymakers on a number of popular Greek islands, including Zakynthos (Zante), Santorini and Crete, will have until 4am tomorrow to get back to England to avoid a 14-day quarantine.

Other islands on England's quarantine list include Lesvos, Serifos, Mykonos and Tinos.

Speaking to MPs in the Commons, the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said infection rates on the islands posed a risk to public health in the UK, but he stopped short of applying a quarantine on mainland Greece – as Scotland has. 

Up to sixty thousands British holidaymakers are currently on the seven red-listed islands.

Flight prices have skyrocketed, since the announcement. The only direct flight back from Santorini today, into Heathrow, is listed on Skyscanner for £417. The only direct flight back from Crete Chania, into Heathrow, is going for £387, while a flight back from Mykonos to Heathrow will cost £416.

Telegraph Travel is calling for Covid-19 testing at all UK ports and airports, in place of ever-more confusing quarantine regulations.

Scroll down for more updates.

03:54 PM

What have we learnt today?

A quick look at today's main stories so far:

  • TUI and Jet2 cancel Greek Island holidays

  • UK quarantine approach 'costing travellers dearly', says Which? editor

  • Taj Mahal to reopen more than six months after it was shut 

  • Spain sets Western Europe virus record with 500,000 infections 

  • Jordan reopens to tourists

  • Turkey cases reach four-month high.

Scroll down for more detail on today's top travel stories. We'll be back, first thing tomorrow.

03:49 PM

South Africa daily virus cases drop below 1,000, lowest in months

South Africa has reported fewer than 1,000 new coronavirus infections, the lowest daily increase in three months, as health authorities warn that a second wave remains a risk.

The country is the hardest-hit in Africa, registering around half of the continent's more than 1.3 million coronavirus cases.

But the number of new infections has been declining steadily since an average daily peak of around 12,000 in July.

South Africa recorded 845 new cases on Monday, taking its total number to 639,362, according to a health ministry report released overnight.

It also registered 115 more Covid-19 related deaths, raising its total toll to 15,004.

South Africa's number of cases is now the world's seventh-highest, down from the fifth, as it has been overtaken by Colombia and Peru.

03:40 PM

Music festivals face 'catastrophe' under social distancing rules

The music festival operator behind Latitude and Download has warned of an industry “catastrophe” without clarity from ministers over how events can be held next year.

Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, said festivals would close and thousands of jobs would be lost if the government failed to find a way for events to operate at full capacity in 2021.

The coronavirus crisis sparked widespread cancellations of music festivals this year, leaving a financial hole in the near £2bn industry.

Scenes like this are hard to imagine, any time soon
Scenes like this are hard to imagine, any time soon

Mr Benn said he expected the sector to bounce back, but only if a vaccine or mass testing meant festival-goers would not have to socially distance at next year’s events.

“A failure [by the government] to engage early with the industry will result in catastrophe because we can’t switch on overnight,” he said.

Read the full report here.

03:32 PM

Which country will lose its travel corridor next?

This graph helps to visualise how case-numbers are looking in the most popular holiday spots.

20 cases per 100,000 is the threshold that, along with other criteria, has been used to decide which countries have a quarantine imposed on arrivals.

Case rate
Case rate

03:17 PM

Meanwhile, closer to home...

Leighton Buzzard has been hit by an earthquake for the first time.

The Bedfordshire town was the centre of an earthquake that took place at 9.45am on Tuesday (September 8), the British Geological Survey (BGS) confirmed, with the impact also felt in Luton and Milton Keynes.

The BGS tracker showed a quake measuring 3.3 on the Richter Scale. The epicentre was 3 kilometres north west of the town at a depth of 10km.

Following the tremors, many took to social media to report feeling shaking. More than an hour after the event, Bedfordshire Police said its control room was “experiencing a large number of calls”.

03:02 PM

Revealed: 10 of the most glorious holidays in quarantine-free Turkey

Reliably warm, affordable, with a wealth of landscapes to choose from, and – crucially – a travel corridor intact, this old favourite is still a safe bet for British holidaymakers.

Turkey is still on the UK's 'green list' of destinations
Turkey is still on the UK's 'green list' of destinations

Here are ten of our favourite holidays in Turkey for the shoulder season.

02:57 PM

British travellers risk being locked out of EU if coronavirus infections rise

British tourists could be forced to quarantine or take Covid-19 tests when travelling to EU countries under new bloc-wide rules and, if coronavirus infections increase, face being locked out of the bloc after the end of the Brexit transition period.  

EU member states and the European Commission began preliminary discussions on agreeing a standardised colour system, infection rate threshold and harmonised approach to travellers from high-risk areas for the bloc on Monday. They do not involve the UK, which will be treated as a non-EU country from January 1. 

“European challenges require European coordination,” a commission spokesman said on Tuesday, before adding that the plans were “welcomed” by national diplomats. 

The commission said that any decision on travel restrictions would be for individual countries to make, but urged EU governments to commit to the same “common criteria” when introducing them. 

Read the full report here.

02:45 PM

Greeks count the cost of 'crazy' quarantine decision

The news that Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete and Zakynthos (Zante) will be on the UK Government’s red list from 4pm on September 9 came as a bombshell for business owners on the seven popular Greek islands, writes Heidi Fuller-Love.

“We have worked very hard to deliver safe holidays and until today we have been 100 per cent successful,” says Georgios Kaloutsakis, owner of Cretan seaside resort of Abaton Island, where they have not seen a single case since reopening on July 1.

“People who partied here in Greece during their holidays will now party in their hometowns – we are not the ones responsible for creating lack of social responsibility, but we are the ones paying the bill,” added the infuriated owner of the luxury resort which was one of the first to open again to foreign tourists after lockdown.

Read the full report here.

02:33 PM

What is the situation looking like in Italy?

 Italy has recorded 1,108 cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours and 15.9 cases per 100,000 (7-day moving average). As it stands, there is no quarantine in place for people arriving home from Italy, to anywhere in the UK.

Coronavirus Italy Spotlight Chart - cases default
Coronavirus Italy Spotlight Chart - cases default

02:19 PM

Train passenger numbers remain low as Government's back to work drive falters

Train companies have reported only a "slight increase" in passenger numbers as the Government continues to delay its major advertising campaign to get Britons back to work.

Operators said initial numbers for Monday suggested there had not been a drastic surge in the number of commuters as train services returned to 90 percent of their normal capacity.

The underwhelming rise came as children returned to school, leading transport bosses to hope parents freed from childcare commitments would begin flooding back to the office.

Mike Wright has the full story here.

02:00 PM

Now is the time to plan for autumn half term

Missed out on a family holiday this year? You couldn’t make the most of the lockdown sunshine; your summer trip to the Med was cancelled; your staycation break was blown away by the August gales. Now schools are back, so you have one last chance for an a rewarding trip for all  – the autumn half term, writes Nick Trend

These are the best places to go this half term.

01:35 PM

Netherlands cases reach five-month high

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the Netherlands have reached the highest levels since April, a 51% increase on last week.

New cases were up to 5,427 in the week leading up to Tuesday September 8. The previous week that number was 3,597.

The largest increase on cases is among 20–24 year olds, according to health authorities.

The number of deaths, however, is down to a daily average of  3 (7-day moving average). At the virus's peak in April, that number was 154 deaths per day.

Coronavirus Netherlands Spotlight Chart - Cases default
Coronavirus Netherlands Spotlight Chart - Cases default

01:27 PM

Today's latest figures

A look at today's latest figures of cases per 100,000, courtesy of Paul Charles. The notable factors are:

  • UK is now 'red-listed' according to its own criteria

  • Denmark and Italy in the amber

  • Greece and Turkey remain in the 'green' when it comes to cases

  • Cases in Netherlands on the up

01:22 PM

Malaysia says no more 'fist bumps' as coronavirus numbers jump

Malaysian authorities reminded the public to avoid physical contact, including fist bumps as a form of greeting, as the number of new coronavirus cases in the country climbed to a three-month high.

The fist bump, where two people briefly press their closed fists together, has replaced the traditional handshake in popularity as people around the world sought to limit the spread of the pandemic.

But Malaysia's top health official said any form of physical contact presents the risk of infection and reminded people to maintain a distance of at least one metre (3.3 feet).

"This is why we're telling people not to fist bump," the Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah told reporters.

12:58 PM

Which European islands could benefit from the new quarantine policy?

La Sorrueda, Gran Canaria - Getty
La Sorrueda, Gran Canaria - Getty

While the outlook for Sardinia is uncertain (see below), some European islands may benefit from the UK's more nuanced approach to travel corridors. Could they be added to our safe list, while the mainland remains off-limits?

Hazel Plush has crunched the numbers, comparing the infection rates on some of Europe’s favourite holiday islands with statistics from their mainland. And the outlook is rosy – for some... 

12:44 PM

Could new quarantine rules see Sardinia struck from the UK's safe list?

While Italy currently has travel corridor status with all UK countries, England's new regional approach to quarantine rules could spell trouble for Sardinia. 

As Italy's cases have risen slowly over the past month, Sardinia's have exploded in comparison – an upward trend that can't be ignored.

On August 24, for example, Sardinia recorded 91 new cases – while the entire nation's totalled 953. For the island –which accounts for just three per cent of Italy's total population – to contribute ten per cent of the national infection rate, it's very worrying news.

In light of the UK's new regional approach, it begs the question: could Sardinia be ditched from Italy's travel corridor in the future, while the mainland remains in favour?

12:30 PM

The Portuguese island that's perfect for a tranquil autumn break

Sao Vicente, Madeira - Getty
Sao Vicente, Madeira - Getty

It's sunny, it's spectacular, and it's low in Covid cases: could Madeira be this autumn's hottest holiday choice? 

If mainland Portugal is struck from our green-list, Madeira is the ideal candidate for an 'island bridge' with the UK – and, as Chris Leadbeater discovered, there's much more to it than first meets the eye... 

It seems strange – amusing, even – for the island to be deemed a trouble-spot. Some might say it has the world’s least problematic image problem. It has often been damned with faint praise – soft-soaped as a hub for genteel weekends in pleasingly pretty Funchal; for afternoon tea at Reid’s Palace hotel; for the aroma of orchids at the Quinta da Boa Vista estate. 

Not that this is an unfair portrait, but it misses a wider point. That this outcrop off the west edge of Africa – 450 miles beyond Morocco and its Saharan sands – is a beast, born of lava and tectonic seabed pressure. It rears and it rises, all serrated shards and raw basalt, braced against the ocean’s anger. Is it unknown? No. Misunderstood? Absolutely.

Read the full article

12:13 PM

How the much-hyped 'travel bubbles' burst

Four months ago, the ‘travel bubble’ was the idea that could save tourism. Or, if not save it, at least keep the industry on life support until a vaccine was developed. Instead, we got ‘travel corridors’ – and all the subsequent chaos.

The concepts are broadly similar in ambition, if not in method. Travel corridors are rarely reciprocal arrangements – more a case of individual governments deciding which countries should be slapped with quarantine restrictions and which should be exempt.

Bubbles, on the other hand, would be agreed by a group of governments, creating enclosed networks of countries in which citizens could travel without the need to quarantine. Since access would be exclusive to members of each bubble, there would be little to no risk of infected travellers arriving from outside that network, and each country could therefore go about suppressing the virus while opening up a large section of the economy.

So, what went wrong? Tom Mulvihill investigates how the travel bubble burst

11:56 AM

Rail expert calls for testing at St Pancras

Simon Hodge , Managing Director of Tailor Made Rail, said:

"Eurostar’s three destinations, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, are currently all subject to UK quarantine requirements, meaning that the UK rail holidaymakers are completely cut off from continental Europe.  Whilst countries such as Germany and Poland are still quarantine-free, the necessity of changing trains in Brussels or Amsterdam forces the traveller into self-isolation upon return to the UK.

"Introducing COVID-19 testing at London St Pancras would alleviate any need for quarantine from these key destinations and for any of our clients who’ve already travelled across multiple countries on one of our holidays.  Now that Eurostar have announced that the Kent stations of Ebbsfleet and Ashford will not be served until 2022, all the focus is on St Pancras International, the only remaining UK station for international rail services. The arrivals area there is used occasionally for immigration checks and I'd imagine could house testing facilities if required.

"Whilst this would undoubtedly cause some delays in exiting the station, it would at a stroke enable rail travellers to return into the UK safely and securely, removing the thorny quarantine issue that has impacted consumer confidence so adversely in the last few weeks."

11:46 AM

'We ignored the Government's lunatic cruise diktat for a idyllic voyage through Greece'

The FCDO advises against ocean cruising, but Jane Archer didn't let this stop her from going on an idyllic voyage through Greece.

"I know, I know. Ocean cruising is on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) no-go list, a lunatic diktat that at a stroke has invalidated our travel insurance, so neither I nor my husband should be on this ship, but frankly we don’t care.

"Not that we have been cavalier about coming. We weighed the pros and cons carefully. A week of sun, sand, sea and some of the best Greek islands the Cyclades can muster or another seven days at home? The decision took about 30 seconds."

Read her full feature, here.

11:24 AM

TUI and Jet2 cancel Greek Island holidays

TUI and Jet2 have cancelled all holidays to the Greek Islands of Crete, Santorini, Zakynthos and Mykonos due to new coronavirus quarantine rules, imposed by Grant Shapps yesterday.

A TUI spokesperson said: “We welcome the announcement on regional corridors to Islands and believe it’s a positive step forward for the travel industry and for our customers, who we know still wish to travel.

"This is exactly the nuanced and pragmatic approach that we’ve been calling for.

“However, with little notice we have had to cancel holidays to Crete, Santorini, Zakynthos and Mykonos just hours before customers are due to travel due to the change in travel advice.

"Any customers due to travel to these four islands before Tuesday 22 September will be able to amend for free to another holiday on sale, or request a full cash refund.

“We now urgently need to hear more about how the Government will implement a robust regime of airport testing to reduce down the need to quarantine for 14 days, as this remains a barrier for some to travel.”

A Jet2 spokesperson said:

"Due to the latest government travel advice, we have taken the decision to suspend holidays to Crete up to and including 20th September. We will be in touch with affected customers to discuss options to rebook or receive a credit note/ cash refund."

11:13 AM

The response from Santorini

George Filippidis, Managing Director at Andronis Exclusive hotels in Santorini, told Telegraph Travel:

"I was very surprised to see Santorini added to England’s quarantine list. The list was only updated a few days ago and the cases on the island are low. The UK market (mostly guests from England) is especially important for us. Typically 40 per cent of visitors across Andronis Exclusive’s luxury family-run Santorini hotels are from the UK. In past years we have seen a large percentage of USA visitors too, however due to their travel restrictions, our largest proportions for 2020 have been from the UK, then France. Therefore, the UK market has been an especially important for us this year. The new quarantine will have a detrimental negative effect on Andronis Exclusive and the Santorini tourism economy. "

11:05 AM

Turkey cases reach four-month high.

Turkey has recorded 1,703 cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the highest daily tally since May 15.

This brings the numbers of cases per 100,000 up to 13.7 over the last 7 days.

Here's a look at the graph of daily Covid-19 cases in Turkey:

Coronavirus Turkey Spotlight Chart - Cases default
Coronavirus Turkey Spotlight Chart - Cases default

10:46 AM

Heat map of Covid-19 cases in Greece

Here's a look at the distribution of Covid-19 cases across Greece. This is based on the latest published figures, on September 3.

Regional total cases in Greece
Regional total cases in Greece

Greece has recorded a total of 11,663 cases and 289 deaths, although some believe the true number may be higher, with some accusing the Greek Government of concealing the true extent of Covid-19 in the country by fudging the numbers.

10:31 AM

Jordan reopens to tourists

International flights have resumed from Jordan's Queen Alia International Airport as of today.

There are, however, quarantine and testing measures in place. All travellers must take a PCR test 72 hours before boarding a flight, and must quarantine for a week prior to arrival. Anyone who fails to provide a PCR test will undergo a two-week quarantine on arrival.

Travellers from 'green' countries, with low incidence rates of Covid-19, will need to take a test on arrival and go into a seven-day isolation, if they test negative.

Jordan closed its borders on March 16 - Getty
Jordan closed its borders on March 16 - Getty

Those arriving from 'yellow' countries must undergo a week's quarantine and get tested on the fifth or sixth day, and then quarantine for an additional week after that. Requirements for red countries are the same as yellow ones, but they must also wear a tracking bracelet during quarantine.

Travelers are free to leave the country, provided there are flights available and the destination countries accept them.

10:17 AM

The view from around the world

The Taj Mahal is set to reopen, after being closed for six months - Getty
The Taj Mahal is set to reopen, after being closed for six months - Getty
Gyms have reopened in Cancun - Getty
Gyms have reopened in Cancun - Getty
A street performer does his thing in New Jersey - Getty
A street performer does his thing in New Jersey - Getty
People queue for a test at Hotel de Ville in Paris - Getty
People queue for a test at Hotel de Ville in Paris - Getty

10:02 AM

Setback for tourism in Southeast Asia

There have been major setbacks for  a tourism resurgence in Southeast Asia, as Bali sees a spike of Covid-19 cases and Thailand records its first locally transmitted case in 100 days.

Plans to reopen Bali to foreign tourists from September have now been postponed indefinitely, while Thailand’s proposal for the cautious reopening of Phuket island are now in doubt.

As well as trying to encourage domestic tourism industries, some Southeast Asian countries have been debating “travel bubbles”, as a way to get business travel off the ground.

Bali has seen fewer cases than other parts of Indonesia, which has Southeast Asia's biggest death count, but cases have spiked since the island reopened to domestic tourism at the end of July.

“Increasing domestic tourism is one important factor for increasing cases in Bali,” said Dr. Pandu Riono,  an epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia.

09:41 AM

What happens when the UK breaches its own quarantine threshold?

While other factors are taken into consideration, a few weeks ago Grant Shapps said the Government would consider adding a country to the quarantine list if its seven-day case rate passed 20 per 100,000 residents, explains Oliver Smith.

But an increase in the number of positive tests in Britain over the last week means the UK is now on the brink of passing its own threshold. So what happens then? Does the Government ban domestic holidays? That seems highly unlikely, tantamount to a second national lockdown (and the UK seems committed to more localised measures). 

However, given the widespread rise in new cases across Europe – and the growing concern that PCR tests are too sensitive and that many people who test positive are not actually infectious – it may consider using a higher threshold. Indeed, the decision not to add Portugal to the red list this week, despite its one-week case rate reaching 24.2 per 100,000, may be evidence of a greater leniency. 

Even better, of course, would be to ditch the 14-day quarantine policy and replace it with airport testing for arrivals from high-risk countries (as outlined in our Test4Travel campaign). 

09:29 AM

Spain sets Western Europe virus record with 500,000 infections

Spain has become the first country in Western Europe to pass 500,000 coronavirus infections, with French footballer Kylian Mbappe the latest sports star on the continent to test positive.

Spain had largely gained control over its outbreak, but infections have surged since the restrictions were fully removed at the end of June, and there are concerns about the reopening of schools in the country.

Spain's beaches reopened in June
Spain's beaches reopened in June

"If we all take responsibility and here I am including the children... I believe that the return to school is very possible," health ministry official Fernando Simon said Monday.

"Although it will have an impact, it will certainly not have an excessive impact."

09:24 AM

Taj Mahal to reopen more than six months after it was shut

India's top tourist attraction the Taj Mahal is set to reopen more than six months after it was shut, officials said on Tuesday, as the vast nation battles soaring coronavirus infections.

India, home to 1.3 million people, on Monday overtook Brazil to become the world's second most-infected nation with more than 4.2 million cases, behind only the United States.

"The Taj Mahal will reopen on September 21. All Covid-19 protocols, like physical distancing, masks will be followed," northern Uttar Pradesh state's Tourism Department deputy director Amit Srivastava told AFP.

Taj Mahal, India has been closed since mid-March 
Taj Mahal, India has been closed since mid-March

Visitors will be limited to 5,000 a day, down from the usual daily average of 20,000, he added.

It has been closed since mid-March as part of India's strict virus lockdown.

Uttar Pradesh, home to Agra city where the Taj is located, is one of the worst-hit states in India with more than 270,000 virus cases recorded so far.

Since August, India has been reporting the highest single-day rises in the world.

09:08 AM

The 16 countries you can visit without quarantine

Here's a look at the UK's ever-shrinking 'travel corridors' list (it was twice as long, back in July). Devolved administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have differing policies.

  • Cuba (Tourists can enter Cuba on international charter flights arriving directly into Cayo Coco, Cayo Cruz or Cayo Guillermo (served by Jardines del Rey airport); Cayo Santa Maria (flying into Santa Clara airport); or Cayo Largo del Sur only)

  • Denmark

  • Faroe Islands (Visitors required to take Covid-19 test at airport on arrival)

  • Germany

  • Gibraltar

  • Greece (Not including Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos) 

  • Iceland (Open to tourists, but all arrivals must pay to be tested twice for coronavirus or self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Children born in 2005 or later are exempt)

  • Italy

  • Liechtenstein

  • Poland

  • Portugal (Those visiting the Azores and Madeira must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test, carried out no more than 72 hours before you arrive, or take a test on arrival and await the results within 12 hours at their accommodation)

  • San Marino

  • Slovakia 

  • Slovenia 

  • Turkey

  • Vatican City

Read the full article, here.

09:00 AM

In other news...

... Britain's first robot ship is preparing to set sail across the Atlantic.

Autonomous ship
Autonomous ship

While aerial drones and driverless cars have captured more attention, experts believe autonomous shipping is on the verge of a breakthrough.

Read the full article, here.

08:43 AM

Tinos quarantine 'must be a mistake'

The removal of Tinos, an under-the-radar Greek island close to Mykonos, will come as a surprise to anyone who has visited.

Unlike Mykonos, it's a relatively sleepy place - popular with hikers - and untouched by mass tourism.  Peter Marston, a Briton who runs Xinara House, a luxury self-catering apartment on Tinos, told Telegraph Travel:

"It feels like this must be a mistake. I just called several people on the island who all thought there had been no more than 14 cases on Tinos all year and no deaths (out of a population of 10,000, plus many visitors). They said the island, though busier than usual in July and August, is now very quiet.

"The restaurants have even been talking of closing early next month instead of at the end of October. So why impose the restriction for Tinos so late, at the end of the summer season? I will now have to explain the situation to our last few Xinara House visitors arriving over the next three weeks."

Tinos
Tinos

If you're in the market for some escapism, our online travel editor, Oliver Smith, paid a visit to Tinos last year. Here's what he found.

08:40 AM

Watch: Grant Shapps explains Greek quarantine decision

08:30 AM

UK quarantine approach 'costing travellers dearly'

Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, has spoken out against the Government's quarantine approach:

"Holidaymakers are acutely aware of the risks involved with foreign travel, but this latest snap change still offers no clarity as to how these decisions are made. This approach continues to cost travellers dearly, either through paying extortionate airfares in the scramble to get home, or because speculation that their destination may be added to the quarantine list causes them to needlessly cancel a holiday.

"It's clear that the current travel corridor system is not working for passengers, and is further damaging confidence in the sector. A major reassessment of the UK government's approach is needed to ensure holidaymakers don’t continue to lose money, and tour operators and airlines have a better opportunity to get back on their feet financially."

08:26 AM

Greece tourism minister says UK tourists are "still welcome"

Greek Tourism Minister, Harry Theoharis, was speaking on Sky News this morning:

 

08:20 AM

Case numbers on the rise in Greece

A look at how cases are rising in Greece. There are now 13 cases per 100,000 (7-day cumulative figure) in Greece. The UK is at 19 cases per 100,000, Italy is at 15.6 and Portugal is at 24.2

Coronavirus Greece Spotlight Chart - cases default
Coronavirus Greece Spotlight Chart - cases default

08:17 AM

UK must abandon "ineffective, destructive and costly quarantines" says WTTC

Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), said:

“WTTC is encouraged the government is beginning to listen and has now introduced its ‘island policy’. This move appears to show a more strategic approach and signals a change from its previous blanket country-wide approach. We look forward to seeing how this is going to be communicated to holidaymakers.

“However, this is just scratching the surface. We must abandon wholesale ineffective, destructive and costly quarantines - and replace them with rapid, cost-effective testing on departure at airports. The longer we wait, the more the ailing Travel & Tourism sector faces collapse.

“Airport testing on departure and a robust testing and tracing programme, could help revive international business travel, particularly on key routes, such as between London and New York, which links two of the world’s biggest financial hubs.

“Testing, in addition measures such social distancing, mask wearing, hand sanitisation, enforced by the airlines, airports and other stakeholders, can reduce risk to a minimum while travelling.

“Unfortunately, the UK has seen community transmission continue to rise, where confusion and lack of enforcement reign about social distancing measures and the wearing of face masks.

“We cannot afford to wait any longer. WTTC has revealed this year a staggering £22bn looks set to be lost from the UK economy due to the disappearance of international travel.

“Public health should remain the priority, however the UK government must shift its  focus to  implement a robust testing scheme at airports to tackle the issue head on to restore confidence to travel, bring stability back to the sector, revive the UK’s flagging economy and save millions of jobs.”

08:13 AM

What are the different Greece travel policies, across the UK?

England

From 4am on September 9, travellers returning to England from the Greek islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos (Zante) must quarantine for 14 days. Mainland Greece will retain its travel corridor status.

Wales

From 4am on September 4, arriving into Wales from the Greek islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos, Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos and Crete have to self-isolate for 14 days. Mainland Greece retains its travel corridor.

Scotland

Quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland Greece and all Greek islands, as of 4am on September 3.

Northern Ireland

No travel quarantine in place.

08:07 AM

EasyJet 'frustrated' at quarantine

EasyJet has hit back at the UK Government's travel corridor strategy, saying consumer confidence has been hit by quarantine measures.

"Customer confidence to make travel plans has been negatively affected by constantly evolving government restrictions", the low-cost airline said.

"We know our customers are as frustrated as we are," it added.

EasyJet's chief executive Johan Lundgren, said: "Following the imposition of additional quarantine restrictions to seven Greek islands and the continued uncertainty this brings for customers, demand is now likely to be further impacted and therefore lower than previously anticipated,

"We now expect to fly slightly less than 40% of our planned schedule over the current quarter."

07:50 AM

What happened yesterday?

  • ABTA warned of 'confusion' after the UK's approach to quarantine rules devolves further.

  • Leading hoteliers voice their support for Telegraph Travel's Test4Travel campaign, including Sir Rocco Forte.

  • Next year's Olympic Games will go ahead "with or without Covid", says IOC vice president John Coates.

  • Emirates has doled out a massive £1billion in Covid-19 flight refunds.

  • Tour operator TrekAmerica has ceased trading, becoming the latest casualty of the pandemic.