Holidays: Greek Tourism Minister gives safety tips for UK travellers
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Greece’s tourism minister has assured the nation “welcomed British tourists” and has “meticulous” measures in place to keep both visitors and citizens safe while travelling. Following France’s addition to the newly created “amber plus list”, mounting speculation suggests Greece and Spain could soon follow based on COVID-19 rates.
According to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), Greece recorded 17,904 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days.
By comparison, the UK has recorded 388,811 in the same period.
However, Greece’s minister for tourism Harry Theoharis says the nation is not experiencing high rates of COVID-19 coming in from UK and other tourists at its borders.
Speaking on Sky News, he said: “We don’t see that there is a high incidence at our borders.
“Our rates are only 0.01 up to 0.09 percent in the previous days so we don’t see a high incidence in people coming at our airports or at our land borders.
“But the increase in mobility in the summer and also the Delta Variant is spread very quickly.
“It has increased the number of cases throughout Europe.
“This is not just about the southern countries or the tourist countries.
“This is about every country.”
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However, he commended the vaccine roll-out for keeping hospital cases down.
Coupled with the health and safety “protocols” in place throughout the country, the Greek minister says it is still “safe” for UK visitors to return.
“We have always known that this is going to be a summer where we have to monitor everything,” said Mr Theoharis.
“It is a very dynamic situation. First of all, we welcome British tourists and the decision by the UK Government to allow countries on the amber list if you’re vaccinated to come back without quarantine.
“Of course, this is subject to review. We have established and worked hard to show the British Government how meticulous and professional our system is and to provide all of the data necessary for them to make informed decisions.
“That’s effectively all that we would ask them.”
However, there are rules in place which Britons must follow.
“We ask everyone to follow the protocols and the health and safety,” said the minister.
“We have recently opened indoor spaces but those are only accessible to vaccinated people only.
“But, of course, a lot of outdoor spaces in residences everyone can enjoy and share.
“There is no mask-wearing outside, except in crowded places, say in a small alley or places where many people are outside. Mask wearing is required in indoor places.”
Britons are permitted to visit Greece, as long as they can provide either proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the 72 hours prior to travel or proof of two COVID-19 vaccinations completed at least 14 days before travel.
Visitors must also complete a Passenger Locator Form no later than 11:59pm on the day before arrival in Greece.
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