Holidaymakers in the UK can safely visit another island in Greece, as Crete has been re-added to the government’s travel corridors list.
The move comes following a decrease in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus on the island, the Department for Transport (Dft) said.
What does it mean for holidays?
With Crete now back on the list of safe travel corridors, passengers who arrive in the UK from the island from 4am on Sunday 18 October will no longer need to self-isolate.
This is providing travellers have not been in, or transited through, any other countries that are not exempt from quarantine restrictions in the 14 days prior to their arrival back in the UK.
The DfT confirmed the news on 15 October, stating that the risk to public health from those arriving from the Greek island “has decreased to an acceptable level.”
Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, announced the news on social media, writing, “We are ADDING CRETE to the #TravelCorridor list this week.
“From 4am on Sunday 18 Oct, if you arrive from Crete, you will NO LONGER need to self-isolate.
“ALSO THIS WEEK, the whole of the UK is now aligned with our advice around all of the Greek Islands.”
Currently, only the island of Mykonos is not exempt from quarantine restrictions.
Mr Shapps also announced several destinations have been removed from the travel corridor list due to a rise in coronavirus cases. These include Italy, Vatican City state and San Marino, which will now require travellers to quarantine for 14 days as of 4am on 18 October.
Am I still allowed to go on holiday?
Lockdown restrictions in England were tightened on 12 October, with regions now divided into three tiers of Covid alert levels.
Areas have been categorised as ‘medium’, ‘high’ and ‘very high’ based on current Covid infection rates, and mean some areas now face tougher rules on travel.
Those living in an area on high alert (Tier 2) can still travel to hotels, other guest accommodation and go on holiday outside of the area, but this should only be done with people in your own household, or support bubble.
Those in an area on very high alert (Tier 3) are advised to avoid travelling outside of their local area, or entering other areas on the same alert, except for work, education or other essential reasons. People must also avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, or in another very high alert level.
However, none of the three tiers are subject to a ban on international travel.
Similarly, bans on international travel are not in place in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, although some restrictions on local travel are in force.
In Scotland, people who live in the Central Belt region, which includes the health board areas of Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian (including the city of Edinburgh), and Forth Valley, are advised not to travel outside of their area if they do not need to. People in other parts of Scotland, along with the rest of the UK, are also urged not to travel to these areas unless needed.
In Wales, the 17 counties currently subject to local lockdown restrictions are not legally allowed to leave their council area without a reasonable excuse.
As for Northern Ireland, a four week circuit breaker lockdown came into force on 16 October, requiring pubs and restaurants to close. Schools will be closed for two weeks from Monday 19 October.
However, there are no rules banning travel under the new regulations, although it is advised that “no necessary travel should be undertaken”. NI residents are urged to be mindful of the risks of spreading the virus by travelling, and should use their judgement when deciding whether or not to take a journey.