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Scotland adds Greece to quarantine list

Scotland adds Greece to quarantine list

Travellers returning from Greece will have to self-isolate for 14 days if they arrive back in Scotland after 4am on Thursday, the Scottish Government has announced.

The Welsh Government has also asked arrivals from Zante – a Greek island hit by various coronavirus clusters – to quarantine for two weeks, but England is yet to introduce any new measures for the destinations.

Tour operator Tui also said yesterday evening that it would no longer be offering holidays to the resort of Laganas on Zante from Thursday.

We've got full information below on what to do if you're affected by any of the situations.

For more help, see our Coronavirus Travel Rights guide.

I'm travelling from Greece into Scotland – what do I need to know?

Unless you fall within an exemption (you can find more details on these on the Scottish Government website), if you arrive in Scotland from Greece after 4am on Thursday, you will:

  • Need to provide your journey and contact details when you travel to Scotland.
  • Not be allowed to leave the place you are staying for the first 14 days you are in Scotland, except in very limited situations (known as 'self-isolating').

The measures apply to international travellers into Scotland irrespective of their point of entry into the UK, so if you arrive at an English airport then travel into Scotland you'll still need to isolate.

They also apply if you travel to Greece, then a country which Scotland has a 'travel corridor' with, and then back to Scotland, as long as you've been in Greece within the last 14 days.

If you break the rules, you could end up being hit with a £480 fine.

I had a trip booked and it's been cancelled – what are my rights?

At the moment, some travel to Greece will be going ahead, but other trips will be cancelled, eg, Tui is cancelling some package holidays. The good news is if your flight or package holiday is cancelled by a travel firm, it has to refund you in full by law:

  • Under the Package Travel Regulations, if a package holiday's cancelled you're due a full refund within 14 days. Though right now, it's often taking longer and getting a full refund during the pandemic has not always proved easy (for more help, see cancelled package holiday refunds).

  • If you have a flight and it's cancelled, then under EU flight delay rules you're due a full refund within seven days. Though again, right now there are delays to refunds and some have struggled to get them (for more help, see cancelled flight refunds).

Hotel stays booked directly are unlikely to be cancelled. If they are, there's no specific regulation governing these like there is with package travel and flights. You'd likely be owed a refund, but it would depend on local law.

I had a trip booked and it's not cancelled – what are my rights?

At the moment, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is not advising against trips to Greece, though this could change in the coming days.

The lack of an advisory means that you'll be unlikely to demand a refund and, sadly, also means that your insurer likely won't cover you if you don't want to travel, as Government advisories against travel are the usual triggers for travel insurers to pay out.

If you don't want to travel, you'll probably need to work with your travel provider to see if it can offer you an alternative trip, or different travel dates – though this isn't a right.

And if you've a trip to Greece booked but it's not leaving in the next few weeks, then you may be best off waiting to see what happens. Don't cancel your trip yourself. That means you have no rights to a refund in most cases. It is far better for the airline or travel firm to cancel the trip – then you have more rights.

I'm travelling from Zante to Wales – what are my rights?

The quarantine arrangements for arrivals from Zante into Wales are less formal than Scotland's arrangements. 

Passengers on a specific flight into Cardiff yesterday were asked to self-isolate for 14 days. They were offered a Covid-19 antigen test within 48 hours of their return, and will be offered a repeat test eight days after returning home.

Writing on the Welsh Government website yesterday, Wales's Health and Social Services Minister Vaughan Gething said: "I am aware that travellers may be returning to Wales from Zante/Zakynthos this evening or tomorrow from other airports outside of Wales.

"I ask that these travellers self-isolate for 14 days on their return and request a test once they arrive home, and to repeat the test eight days after returning home."