TUI passengers on Zante flight forced to quarantine under new regulations

The news comes following at least 16 people testing positive for the virus on a TUI flight into Cardiff last week. According to reports, some passengers said COVID-19 rules had not been followed in the region.

Now, passengers landing into Cardiff on a flight at 10:40pm this evening will be given a notice informing them they face 14 days of self-isolation.

The passengers will also be offered two COVID-19 tests.

One test will be given 48 hours after arrival and the second will be given in eight days time.

Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething said the decision was made following the detection of six clusters of cases, amounting to 30 infections, linked to flights from the Greek island.

He added that new arrivals from the holiday hotspot pose a risk to public health.

Passengers onboard the flight did not have the opportunity to reschedule their journeys home, as the decision was made once the flight had already departed from Zante.

They also face 14 days of quarantine.

A TUI spokesperson told “We can confirm that customers returning from Zante to Cardiff on TOM6215 will be advised that they will be tested for COVID-19 48 hours after they return and will have a repeat test in eight days’ time. They will also be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

“The health and safety of our customers and crew is our absolute highest priority and we are very supportive of airport testing.

“We believe that with good track and trace processes, testing at airports and a nuanced approach to travel corridors, customers can continue to travel safety.

“The Welsh Government is also asking passengers arriving in the coming days to arrange coronavirus tests when they return home.”

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In a statement, Mr Gething said there are currently “six clusters amounting to over 30 cases in the last week from four flights, of which two of these flights landed in England”.

The minister also called for an “early meeting with the UK government and devolved nations” to determine new rules for quarantining travellers on their return from Greece.

“Public Health Wales have expressed direct concerns about the public health risk posed by passengers returning to Cardiff this evening from Zante/Zakynthos. I share that concern,” he said.

“It is almost certain that travellers returning to Wales from areas of higher COVID-19 incidence will lead to further seeding of infections within Wales.

“Travel into Wales from mainland Europe drove the first wave of COVID-19.”

Scotland has already axed Greece from its quarantine exemption list.

Travellers from Greece will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days on arrival into Scotland from 4am Thursday morning.

Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Gregor Smith said: “There is a compelling public health risk around importation of the virus, especially given the number of imported cases linked to the Greek islands.

“The flow of travel between Scotland and Greece, and the behaviour we have seen from some of those travellers, means that on public health grounds there is a strong case – supported by public health directors – to remove Greece from the exemption list.”

A number of cases in Scotland have been linked back to travellers flying to and from Greece, according to officials.

In Greece, there are roughly 13.7 cases per 100,000, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control at the time of writing.

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