Seven popular Greek islands, including Mykonos and Santorini, have been removed from England's travel corridors as the country updated its mandatory quarantine rules for anyone arriving into the country, including returning citizens and residents.

The Greek islands of Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos have been removed from England's travel corridor list, meaning passengers are required to quarantine when arriving from these places due to a considerable rise in new daily coronavirus cases there in recent weeks. The rule comes into effect on Wednesday, September 9 at 4am. The UK's transport minister Grant Shapp's announced the news on Monday as part of his weekly quarantine updates, explaining that islands can now be treated under different rules from their mainland countries if infection rates differ. 

"New scientific capability and capacity now means we can take a more targeted approach to travel corridors, giving England the flexibility to add or remove islands from the list based on clear evidence - whilst ensuring maximum protection to UK public health," Shapps said.

Many unidentified tourists visiting Oia town on Santorini at famous sunset view point on sunny day
Islands will be treated differently to their mainland countries if infection rates differ ©Littleaom/Shutterstock

European countries still on England's travel corridor list include Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Finland, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Portugal. Far-flung destinations like Barbados, Mauritius, Malaysia and Vietnam are also included. You can access the full list of travel corridor countries here as it's updated on a weekly basis.

Separately, Scotland announced it was removing Greece from its travel corridor list, while Wales is removing six islands – Mykonos, Zakynthos, Lesvos, Paros, Antiparos and Crete – from its travel corridor, but not the rest of the country. Scotland and Wales have both removed Portugal (Wales is making exemptions for the Azores and Madeira) but England and Northern Ireland are still welcoming passengers from Portugal without imposing quarantine restrictions on them.

Outdoor cafe on the Praca do Giraldo square at night, Evora, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Alentejo, Portugal, Europe
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have taken a different quarantine approach to Portugal arrivals ©imageBROKER/Alamy Stock Photo

"As with all air bridge countries, please be aware that things can change quickly. Only travel if you are content to unexpectedly 14-day quarantine if required," Shapps said.

This article was first published on June 8 and updated on September 8, 2020.

You might also like:

See these new glamping spots around England
What travel looks like in Greece in 2020
When will international tourism return to Thailand?

This article was first published Jun 8, 2020 and updated Sep 8, 2020.

Explore related stories

Elegant woman with white dress and hat on a ferry boat in the Cyclades of Greece

Destination Practicalities

Getting around Greece isn't a Herculean task with these top tips

Jun 5, 2023 • 7 min read