LONDON — After having been ranked among the best in the world in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, Greece's decision to open to tourists and inability to rein in people defying health measures has brought a second wave and now led to the United Kingdom putting seven Greek islands on its quarantine list.
That means UK travelers to those islands will have to isolate on return, making the islands off limits in a bid to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, still going on for more than six months.
British Transport Minister Grant Shapps told Parliament that improved access to data meant he could now decide rules on an island-by-island basis depending on COVID-19 infection rates, the news agency Reuters reported.
Passengers arriving from Lesbos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos will have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival in England, he said under a policy allowing different rules to different islands.
"For the first time, we have the data and the capacity to add and remove specific islands from quarantine while still providing maximum protection to the UK public," he said.
Earlier, Wales added six Greek islands to its list after a host of infections were found among passengers on a flight returning from Zakynthos, and Scotland put arrivals from Greece under restrictions.