Tourism Minister, Haris Theoharis, revealed the health protocols for flights and hotels Greece plans to implement during the tourism season in summer 2020, once the country opens its borders to tourists amid the pandemic.
Speaking at an online event of the youth organization of ruling New Democracy, Theoharis stressed that the pandemic makes the setting of rules for the tourists’ arrivals necessary and that these health protocols must be respected.
He said that the health protocols have been prepared in collaboration with the Infectious Diseases Commission of the Greek National Health Organization EODY.
These protocols have already been submitted to tourism agencies for consultation and submission of proposals on their side, the Minister added.
In order for a passenger to board a flight from abroad to Greece, he must have received a health certificate within the last 72 hours that he is not a carrier of COVID-19. Without this certificate, he will not be allowed to board.
There will be no vacant seats on flights to, from or within Greece, ie their capacity will be full so that air transport is economically viable.
Passengers will not be served food for flights for up to four hours, but only packaged snacks.
Greeks who want to travel abroad should also be tested 72 hours before boarding the plane.
Greece’s request is that no COVID-19 test be conducted when tourists leave Greece. Tourists should be tested when they return to their own countries.
Tourists will leave the country without any control, so that there will be no risk of being trapped in the country and stay in quarantine. “After all, this would be a disincentive to choosing our country as a holiday destination,” the minister said.
“Quarantine hotels” in every tourist area
The Ministry of Tourism will rent a tourist accommodation in each tourist area of the country which will function as a “quarantine hotel.” Tourists who are found to be carriers of the coronavirus will be transferred there.
Each hotel or tourist accommodation will be obliged to contract with a doctor, who will determine whether a tourist must undergo a COVID-19 test. The diagnosis will be either live or via telemedicine.
The test results will be released within six hours so that anyone who is tested positive can be transferred to “quarantine hotels”.
Special training in hygiene rules will be provided to the staff of each hotel.
There will be no buffets in the hotels, except in small hotels.
Sunbeds will be installed at a safety distance to each other and will have a disposable cover for each swimmer.
Revenues, bilateral agreements
Regarding the revenues from tourism, Theoharis said that last year revenues were 18 billion euros. “This year we will have at most 8 billion euros,” the minister said.
He announced bilateral agreements with countries such as Bulgaria, Israel, Cyprus, for the free passage and return of Greek tourists.