Up to 60,000 Britons are fighting for a timely return to their homeland to beat Wednesday’s deadline, when those heading home from seven popular Greek islands will face a 14-day quarantine.
On Monday, the British government announced that that the islands of Mykonos, Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Crete, Santorini, and Zakynthos will be placed on the quarantine list, warning British residents that they must self-quarantine at their own expense for two weeks after their arrival back home from these destinations.
The new restrictions will come into force on Wednesday, September 9 at 4 AM.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, prices for air tickets to Britain have skyrocketed since the news hit holiday-makers, who typically vacation in great numbers on the Greek islands. Limited flight schedules mean many will not be able to return in time.
The British tabloid relays the story of Julie Frew, who is currently on the island of Crete. She has a tight window of just three hours between her scheduled arrival back in Birmingham and the cut-off point for mandatory quarantining.
Frew is very unhappy about her government’s decision and says that Crete is more safe than England.
“I don’t understand it because if anything it seems safer here than in the UK. It’s been very quiet, there’s barely anyone on the beaches, all the staff wear masks and there are hand-sanitisers on every table,” she is quoted as saying.
“It’s not like it’s a party island, everything shuts down by midnight, and I think they’ve only had one or two cases reported a day for the last few weeks compared to our thousands – we had no concerns coming here,” she told the Daily Mail.
TUI and Jet2 cancel holidays to Greek islands
The UK’s largest tourism operator TUI has scrapped vacation trips to Crete, Santorini, Zakynthos and Mykonos while Jet2 has axed holidays to Crete up to and including September 20.
“With little notice we have had to cancel holidays to Crete, Santorini, Zakynthos and Mykonos just hours before customers are due to travel, due to the change in travel advice,” said a spokesperson for TUI.
A spokesperson for Jet2 was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror: “Due to the latest government travel advice, we have taken the decision to suspend holidays to Crete up to and including 20th September. We will be in touch with affected customers to discuss options to rebook or receive a credit note/ cash refund.”