The British government has been ridiculed for leaving five Greek islands on the safe travel destination list – despite all flights having ended a few weeks ago.
The final step has been described as a “farce” as anyone flying back to the UK from the destinations will have to travel via Athens, which means they will still have to be quarantined when returning to the UK.
The islands of Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos remain on the safe list, but mainland Greece and other islands have been removed in guidelines announced Thursday by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
To add to the confusion, all holiday travel abroad from the UK are currently banned under various coronavirus restrictions.
Chris Wright, director of tour operator Sunvil, told the Travel mole website: “Leaving Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos on the travel corridor list is pointless as we are now in winter, there are no direct flights to any of these islands from the UK so you would have to travel via Athens to get back to the UK, which means you still have to quarantine.
“Since you are currently not allowed to leave the UK unless for essential reasons, the whole thing is just a farce.
Added to the fact that Greece is now in its own confinement, it makes the situation even more confusing for the traveling public. Perhaps because these islands were listed as islands that would extend the tourist season, it was thought that there would still be tourists there. “
Another travel boss raged: “It is a real Greek tragedy that Britons are given the green light to visit the islands without quarantine on return after the holiday period has ended.
“I don’t see any direct flights from the Greek islands to the UK, so everyone would have to come back through Athens and therefore I would have to isolate.”
The seven-day infection rate of mainland Greece per 100,000 people has risen dangerously, which could put it off the “safe” list. Other Greek islands have also reported an increase in Covid cases.
According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Greece registered 152.2 new cases per 100,000 people in seven days.