Italy is to have quarantine reimposed after a surge in covid cases but Crete is to have its travel ban lifted to become one of the few remaining European destinations for half-term winter sun.
Britons in Italy will have until 4am on Sunday to return to the UK to avoid 14 days self-isolation as the mediterranean state has been hit by a second wave of Covid-19, registering its highest daily tally of new cases on Wednesday.
Its removal from the UK’s quarantine-free “green” list means only Greece and its islands – including Crete – and Cyprus remain as destinations for families seeking late autumn sun during this month’s half term.
Italy is one of the most popular hotspots for Britons with five million visits by UK residents last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The only other quarantine-free states are Germany, Sweden and Estonia as Spain, France, Croatia, Turkey, Belgium, Netherlands, Malta, Poland and Austria have had quarantine re-imposed as a second wave of covid-19 sweeps across the continent.
Italy saw its covid-19 rate rise to 64.4 cases per 100,000 of the population, three times the threshold of 20 that has previously triggered the reimposition of quarantine.
Italy has the second highest Covid death toll on the continent, with 36,289 fatalities since the pandemic began, but its daily cases are below the UK’s.
On Wednesday Italy recorded 7,332 Covid-19 infections over the previous 24 hours, up from 5,901 on Tuesday. The previous highest daily number in Italy was 6,557 new cases on 21 March.
The country’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, has said he is determined to avoid a new general lockdown. On Tuesday Italy imposed new restrictions on gatherings, restaurants, sports and school activities.
There are now just a handful of countries in the world that Britons can visit without facing quarantine or tests. Italy imposed new rules this month that visitors from the UK must provide evidence of a negative Covid test taken 72 hours before travel.
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, is heading a taskforce which is expected to back the idea of a single covid test for arrivals to the UK after seven days that would free them from quarantine and cut the time self-isolating in half.
The post Italy has quarantine re-imposed from Sunday – as travel ban is lifted on Crete appeared first on The Telegraph.