Greece is focusing on airport origins in allowing only flights from approved countries to land as of June 15, regardless of a passenger’s nationality, Minister of Tourism Harry Theoharis told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) on Sunday.
The announcement that Greece would reopen to foreign flights as of June 15 following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic restrictions was followed by a list of countries of origin, which include Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, and Finland.
Flights from abroad will be allowed to land only in the Athens and Thessaloniki International Airports, as of mid-June.
In clarifications to the above regulation, Theoharis said that the list of approved airports for incoming tourists were included in the frequently updated list of the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), as published on Saturday by the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry’s travel directive.
As Theoharis told ANA-MPA, “Tourists originating from airports listed on EASA are obliged to be tested once they land in Greece and remain at a designated hotel for one day,” in order for the test results to be completed.
“If the test turns out negative, these visitors will then be obliged to observe a 7-day quarantine. If their sample is positive, they will remain in a 14-day quarantine and their health will be monitored,” he explained.
Authorities will conduct random sample testing on passengers arriving from airports on the approved list, he noted.
“Greece is opening its doors in a planned way, safely, and following the agreement of doctors at all times,” the minister said. “We are moving within the medical framework and applying scientists’ directives to the letter, fully agreeing with international directives to protect every tourist’s and Greek citizen’s health.”
Hotel health protocols
The detailed health protocols to hotels and other tourist residences in Greece made public a week ago have been published in the Government Gazette, making them formally actionable.
Facilities are expected to adapt their practices to the coronavirus-related restrictions that include visitor and staff protection and responsibilities, and details on how to provide services safely.
Year-round hotels are allowed to reopen on Monday, June 1, while seasonal hotels will reopen on June 15 to foreign visitors.
The protocols, a joint decision by the Ministries of Finance, Health and Tourism, call for the use of a certification sticker with the logo “Health First”, which tourist facilities are obliged to put up this year at visible parts of the reception area.
For non-hotel facilities such as campsites and inns, the sticker will be provided by the Ministry of Tourist following an online application by the owners.