Boris Johnson came under pressure to put Greece on the UK's quarantine list last night after Scotland and Wales placed restrictions on Brits returning from the vacation hotspot.
Nicola Sturgeon's government mandates two weeks of self-isolation for anyone arriving after 4 a.m. on Thursday, while their Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford has singled out the party island of Zante.
Around 190 passengers who landed on a Tui Airways flight in Cardiff last night have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days. In the first example of government-sanctioned tests, they are wiped off again within 48 hours and after eight days.
It comes after the Welsh government said it was "deeply concerned" by allegations that "incompetent" cabin crews on board a Tui flight did nothing last week to prevent passengers from taking off their masks. At least 16 have tested positive since then.
Around 190 passengers who landed on a Tui Airways flight in Cardiff last night have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days. In the first example of government-sanctioned tests, they are wiped off again within 48 hours and after eight days. (Archive photo of a Tui jet)
Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething said he was urging a meeting with his colleagues in Westminster to rush to discuss changes to UK travel rules.
Gregor Smith, Scotland's Chief Medical Officer, said: "The importation of the virus poses an imperative public health risk, especially given the number of import cases linked to the Greek islands.
Countries on the UK government's quarantine list
"The flow of travel between Scotland and Greece, and the behavior of some of those travelers, mean there is a strong public health case – supported by public health directors – to remove Greece from the exemption list."
Despite the changes in Wales and Scotland, the Department of Transport in London said it had no plans to change the travel arrangements with Greece.
Greece's current infection rate is 13.7 per 100,000 people, while the UK government's threshold for its quarantine list is 20 cases per 100,000.
The tour operator Tui has announced that it will no longer offer holidays in the resort of Laganas on the Greek island of Zante from Thursday.
Andrew Flintham, Managing Director of Tui UK and Ireland, said: & # 39; Laganas is a popular holiday destination for young people who traditionally holiday in large groups of friends.
& # 39; The health and safety of our colleagues and customers is our primary concern and recent cases show that some customers are not following social distancing and Covid safety measures.
& # 39; It is therefore right to protect and reduce a now identified potential risk to others by no longer offering vacations at this particular resort.
& # 39; Recent cases in Wales highlighted a demographic of customers who recently returned from Zante and subsequently tested positive. As the only airline that flies between Cardiff and Zante, we have been able to understand trends that are also being seen in other regions of the UK. & # 39;
The trips to all other resorts in Zante will continue as usual.
Rory Boland, tour guide at Which ?, criticized the government's approach to quarantining countries, claiming it hurt the travel industry and left vacationers confused.
He said: "Once again, random announcements and rumors about the quarantine have created chaos and confusion among vacationers. Many are faced with the unenviable choice between paying extortionate prices for last-minute flights home or the disruption caused by two weeks of isolation on their return.
“With the dust settling on what has been a disappointing summer for so many, it is clear that a reassessment of the government's approach to addressing the threat that the coronavirus poses to vacation travel will be needed.
"The travel industry will also need stronger government support to weather the difficult months ahead, while major reforms will be required to restore the confidence of vacationers who have often been left out of their pockets and no longer seek support after the pandemic can strive. " Travel plans in ruins. & # 39;
Seven of those on Tui's flight to Cardiff on August 25 were contagious at the time of the flight and all 193 passengers were asked to self-isolate, the Welsh government said.
One traveler claimed the flight was full of "selfish covidiots" where passengers did not wear their masks properly and disregarded the rules.
Stephanie Whitfield, 39, was traveling with her husband on a flight from Zante to Cardiff when she spotted fellow travelers walking around without a mask
Pictured Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said the Welsh government was "deeply concerned" about reports from passengers on the flight
Education Minister Kirsty Williams told the Welsh Government's weekly press conference that a statement would be made on Tuesday about other flights to Wales.
Authorities are imposing new restrictions on Zante Island amid growing fears that vacation destinations could become a new hotspot
- Local restrictions have been introduced on the islands of Zante / Zakynthos amid fears that the number of coronavirus cases will increase. These include:
- Suspension of any kind of live events and celebrations such as parties, fairs, religious ceremonies, open markets, etc.
- Ban on all shops, services and facilities in the food / catering sector from midnight to 7 a.m. the next day.
- A ban on gatherings of more than 9 people, indoors or outdoors;
- A limit of 4 people per table in a restaurant, except in cases where the group consists of family members and the limit is 6 people;
- Compulsory use of face masks in public indoor and outdoor areas.
"The Welsh Government is deeply concerned about the reports from people on this flight about the lack of adequate measures to keep everyone safe on this flight," she said.
"My colleague Vaughan Gething, the Minister of Health, is in discussion with all relevant parties and will make a statement later today on other flights that may fly from Greece to Cardiff Airport."
On Tuesday, Public Health Wales announced another person with coronavirus died in Wales, bringing the total death toll to 1,596.
An additional 51 positive cases of Covid-19 were reported, bringing the number of cases to 18,063.
Dr. Christopher Williams, Incident Director for Covid-19 Outbreak Response at Public Health Wales, said: “All passengers are being monitored by their local Test Trace Protect teams.
“You should all self-isolate at home as they can become contagious even if they don't have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should book a test immediately. & # 39;
Stephanie Whitfield, who was on the flight in question, claimed the "incompetent crew couldn't care less" after passengers removed their masks and mingled freely with friends and families on board.
The flight left all 193 people on board self-isolating two weeks ago and fears that Zante could be a new coronavirus hotspot.
Ms. Whitfield from Cardiff, who was on the flight with her husband, told the BBC: “This flight was a debacle. The guy next to me had his mask around his neck.
“Not only did the airline not pull him up, they gave him a free drink when he said he knew a member of the crew.
Many people took off their masks and walked up and down the hallways to talk to others.
As soon as the flight landed, a lot of people immediately took off their masks. The flight was full of selfish "covidiots" and an incompetent crew who couldn't care less. "
According to Dr. Gwen Lowe, Communicable Disease Control Advisor at Public Health Wales, there have been about 30 cases related to Zante in the last week that have been confirmed in people who have been on different flights and in different locations.
She also admitted, "These are confirmed positive cases and we expect that number to rise."
The Foreign Commonwealth Office updated its advice to Brits traveling to Zante or Zakynthos after local restrictions on fighting the virus increased.
TUI defended itself against the claims and insisted that all passengers wear masks and adhere to the Covid protocols "for the duration of their flight".
A statement said: “The health and safety of passengers is always our priority and we are concerned to hear about Ms. Whitfield's allegations.
& # 39; Our crew is trained to the highest standards and in accordance with the guidelines of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
“Before the start of the journey and via PA announcements on the flight, passengers are informed that they must wear masks at all times and are not allowed to move in the cabin. Masks can only be removed when consuming food and drinks.
"A full investigation is ongoing as these concerns were not reported in-flight or prior to today."
Tourists are now facing several restrictions on what they can do on the island, including the suspension of live events and celebrations such as parties, fairs, religious ceremonies and open markets, and a ban on all food and catering business. Services and facilities from midnight to 7 a.m. the next day.
There is also a ban on gatherings of more than nine people, either indoors or outdoors, a limit of four people per table in a restaurant, except in cases where the group consists of family members where the limit is 6 people, and the mandatory use of face masks in public indoor and outdoor areas.
Several Britons who have visited Greece in the past few weeks have reported cases of the virus.
Last week, 11 teenagers from Plymouth tested positive for the coronavirus, with up to 30 infected in total upon their return from Zante.
Plymouth Public Health Director Ruth Harrell said some of the teenagers spent an evening in Plymouth's bars and restaurants before becoming aware of the risk.
Greece's current infection rate is 13.7 per 100,000 in the past seven days.
A 7-day rate of 20 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people is the threshold above which the UK government is considering triggering quarantine conditions.
The parents contacted MailOnline and shared their concerns about the cases in Zante.
Phillipa Clarke told Mail Online, “My daughter and two friends flew from Zante to Birmingham Airport at midnight Friday.
& # 39; She has since heard on social media chat that of a group of 11 Cardiff boys they were friends with chatting in the evenings on the same flights, transfer, hotel and pool, 3 tested positive, so it is currently isolating. I will be curious if / when we will hear from Track & Trace.
& # 39; Obviously a problem with Zante, Flights and Cardiff. Everything we feared. & # 39;
Another woman said: “I wasn't on board but my daughter told me on Friday that some students at Cardiff High School had Covid 19 when they returned from Greece. I did not take notice as there was nothing about it on the news.
“There were at least two groups from this school – one was 18 years old and the other was 17 years old. My daughter was also told that there is a third group of children from other schools in Cardiff.
“All of the groups had been partying in Zante, Greece, and we were told that some of their parents caught it. I've heard more from local people than has appeared in the media. & # 39;
Passengers who were on TUI flight 6215 on Tuesday are considered "close contacts" of those who tested positive for COVID-19 and are forcing them all to be quarantined for two weeks.
Seven of the passengers on the flight were positive at the time of the trip and another nine have been positive since then, making a total of 16.
Another passenger, Danielle Loughman, defended TUI, telling MailOnline that cabin crew repeatedly stressed the importance of wearing masks and that fellow passengers had done their best to maintain social distance.
She added that Ms. Whitfield's complaints surprised her and "it was like we were on different flights".
Ms. Whitfield said she and her husband decided to isolate themselves before learning of the positive cases
She hit TUI, claiming that the "incompetent" crew did nothing to ensure social distance was maintained on the flight
Ms. Whitfield said she and her husband decided to isolate before finding out about the positive cases and revealed that they have some symptoms of the virus.
She added that she was "angrier" than anything else.
Ms. Loughman denied her claims, saying, “I was on the flight mentioned above near the back of the plane with a family that was in the front of the plane and neither of us had any problems with people who did not wear masks carried.
The cabin crew repeated several times throughout the flight that someone who was feeling uncomfortable or had symptoms similar to Covid should report them to the cabin crew as soon as possible.
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“We were told not to queue for the toilet, which was also taped up, and we didn't see anyone chatting in the hallways (if they had, I would have complained).
"While I can't tell everyone is wearing their masks (I was near the back so I couldn't see them all), there was definitely not a mad rush to take them off and everyone was still wearing them as we walked through the Customs went as we all had to lower our masks when checking our passports.
“Yes, the flight was full, but Tui did everything possible to inform people about the safety measures in place.
“We are now all self-isolating, as required by Track & Trace. Normally I would never email a story like this, but after reading what a passenger said I can't believe it. It's like we're on different flights. & # 39;
Passengers on board a TUI flight from Zante to Cardiff have to self-isolate after seven people tested positive for coronavirus
She said officials were in the process of reaching all 193 people on the Tui flight.
Another passenger on board, Victoria Webb, told the BBC that she had not received a notice from a health authority since the flight.
Dr. Lowe said it was "very apparent" from working in Wales that the majority of people are not getting the virus from strangers.
"Yes, you can be unlucky and you can get it from a random stranger or from a super-spreader, but the vast majority of people get it from their workmates, their workmates, their family and friends," she said.
When asked whether airlines should be more proactive in encouraging people to wear masks, Dr. However, Lowe that wearing face-coverings could "help" pointed out that it was an "informal measure", adding that it was difficult for airlines to monitor police.
“When someone is determined not to wear a mask, people often don't know how to wear masks properly, they often touch them, they wear them under their noses, they take them off to eat.
"And when you have covid symptoms, the covid symptoms are going to spread pretty quickly to confined spaces like airplanes," she said.
Research by Public Health Wales has raised concerns that people in their twenties traveling overseas to destinations like Zante have a "lack of social distancing".
Dr. Giri Shankar, Director of Public Health Wales said: “These passengers will be contacted shortly but will need to self-isolate at home as they can become infectious without developing symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should book a test immediately.
"Our research into a number of cases of coronavirus has shown that a lack of social distancing, particularly by a minority in the 20-30 age group, has led to the virus spreading to other groups of people."
Dr. Shankar added that passengers would be contacted but would need to be quarantined at home in the meantime as they could become contagious even without symptoms.
No new Covid-19-related deaths were reported by the Wales Health Authority on Sunday, with 56 confirmed cases.
Today marks the third day in a row that neither Wales nor Northern Ireland have recorded Covid-19 deaths.
Dr. Shankar urged the night owls who enjoy the weekend on public holidays to remember the importance of social distancing.
He added, "I appeal directly to young people, even if they feel they are not severely affected by Covid-19, if they test positive for it, if they pass it on to the elderly or the elderly." vulnerable family members, friends or co-workers could be extremely serious, even fatal. & # 39;
Earlier this week, shocking footage showed three workers in Hazmats suits picked up a passenger shortly before departure from a Ryanair flight after receiving text saying he had tested positive for coronavirus.
The passenger and his travel companion were removed from the plane a few minutes before take-off in London and taken to the airport's isolation area, where they were picked up by health authorities.
Their seats and overhead cabins were then disinfected before the plane was allowed to fly to Pisa, Italy, an hour and 40 minutes behind schedule, according to Flight Radar.
The passenger, who was not named, violated coronavirus quarantine restrictions by leaving his home and boarding the flight.
Ryanair said in a statement that the passenger received a text message a few minutes before their departure that they had tested positive for Covid-19.
The spokesman said: "The passenger and his traveling companion were immediately unloaded and taken to an isolation area at Stansted Airport, where they were assisted by the local health authorities.
& # 39; Since this passenger and his companion had fully complied with Ryanair health regulations, both of them wore masks at Stansted Airport at all times and sat on the plane for the very short period (less than 10 minutes) before departure.
“There was hardly any risk of Covid-19 being transmitted to other passengers or crew members, as everyone also wore face masks at all times.
& # 39; The plane flew to Pisa after a 1 hour and 20 minute delay to allow the empty seats and overhead cabin bins to be sanitized to meet all UK health authority guidelines. Ryanair apologizes to all passengers for this short delay. "
Instructions on the NHS England website warn those with symptoms to stay home and avoid any travel.
The Department of Health's website states, “If you are given a coronavirus test because you have symptoms, you and everyone you live with must self-isolate until you get your result.
"This also applies to everyone in your support bubble (where someone who lives alone or only with their children can meet people from another household)."
It can take up to 72 hours to complete the tests to see if someone has coronavirus.
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