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  • #92003
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        Latest Update: June 12, 2020: Greece officially opens fully from July 1, 2020, but Greek authorities cannot say if UK or Turkey will be included

        On Friday June 12th, the Greek Tourism Minister, Harry Theoharis and Health Minister, Vassilis Kikilias between them made the following announcements on Greece’s re-opening after the Coronavirus pandemic:
        – All border crossings, land, sea and air will re-open on July 1st. Airports will welcome flights without restriction, except as noted.
        – The really good news is that flights from European neighbours: Italy, the Netherlands and Spain connecting with Greece will be open from June 15th, 2020 but only using Athens and Thessaloniki gateway airports. There will still be a ban on flights from the UK and Turkey at least until the end of June.

        – From July 1, random testing will take place at airports for the novel coronavirus, and visitors will be obliged to wait for test results at a designated hotel. It will work on this basis: The government has now decided on a 1-day quarantine at a hotel for negative results and a 14-day quarantine for positive ones.
        – According to the statements made, the government’s plan is comprehensive, and it has already carried out simulated emergency drills. Both mobile and floating units at airports and on the Greek islands, respectively, will be collecting test samples. In the island locations, thanks to local analyzing equipment, results will be quick.
        – Some 446 simple beds and 19 intensive care unit beds for #COVID-19 have been reserved on islands, with built in contingency plans to increase the figures to 674 and 79, respectively. Doctors who have already partaken in the emergency drills are being stationed at the Greek islands.

        – For seaborne traffic, from July 1st, a decision on cruise ships using Greek ports is still pending.

        The Greek government is trying its best to placate any concerns over the spread of the CV-19 due to the increase of arrivals at the peak of the tourist season.

        In the statements above, more clarity is forthcoming from the Greek Government in Athens. This should add to confidence. But when the Brits and Irish be welcome? Just one of the reasons the Greeks are being guarded in their optimism of a good tourist season, aand as it is a shortened one.

        If you are going to Greece for a visit, there is a new compulsory form to be completed before your arrival. Details here.

        • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by admin.

        #92004
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            Someone has contacted me to say the story is confusing. Here is to clarify

            What the Greeks are saying  is that until July 1st, ‘direct flights’ are not operating between UK and Greece. People can leave the UK and get herre through a third country airport. That is OK.

            From the British Government side, I would just like to remind any reader here that the fact is as of today, the UK foreign office continues to advise against all travel abroad unless it is essential and those who return will have to quarantine for 14 days.  So on the one hand if you are planning a trip to one of the EU holiday destinations such as #Crete and want to return to UK, even past July 1, you may have to go into quarantine on return to UK. Even if you are British.

            Remember all EU airports with cross border flights are now being geared up with health security areas with automatic sensing of high temperatures in people, testing equipment and other measures.  Who is to say the UK will change its mind regarding a clearance to fly for any purpose after July 1. Let us just hope it does so and relent.

            If in any doubt, just check the British government website on this very situation, regarding travel in and out of the UK.

            On the Greek side, Britain is now on the list of approved countries to visit Greece. Please remember that ATHENS and THESSALONIKI only can accept flights between now and July 1st. Then the other regional Greek airports will be fully opened. They are all to be equipped with special medical facilities.. Doctors on duty have gone through special ‘emergency’ courses related to current conditions as would apply to the CV-19 pandemic. Reassuring, eh?

            Finally, points to remember if you are coming to Greece between now and July 1st

            – Those flying from airports on a high-risk list will be tested when they land. They will be required to go to a quarantine hotel and self-isolate for seven days if the test comes back negative and 14 days if positive. Tourists coming from airports not on the list will be subject to random testing. Hope that is a better clarification.

            #92006
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                Beach near Istron, Lassithi, Crete, Copyright BritsinCrete

                Driving in Eastern #Crete these past few days, it is clear the local Cretans are preparing for the full opening up for tourist visitors, come July 1st after all the #Covid-19 distractions. The usual sign of impending influx of tourists is the driving at break neck speed as though there is no tomorrow. This is quite the usual phenomonen here.  Going to a few local beaches we note there are already a few ‘foreigners’ sunbathing and swimming. They who are definitely visitors soaking up the glorious weather. I speculate they came not by air but by a land border crossing, perhaps from Bulgaria. Only #Athens and #Thessaloniki airports are open for flights to and from outside #Greece until July 1st.

                Otherwise those at the beaches, especially at weekends are the local residents. They probably can’t believe their luck that at this point in the summer they have uncrowded #beaches and what was that about practicing social distancing? Not quite necessay at the moment perhaps. Greeks are usually very practical people, in my view. In fact there is a quite a relaxed atmosphere in our area currently.  Most folks visiting local supermarkets don’t seem to want to wear either gloves or face masks since the dreaded #Chinavirus put us all in lockdown. Mind you, the various outlets do not seem overly busy at any given time and people naturally keep their distance, especially the when friends decide to have chat in the middle of the aisle.

                Crete has managed to escape the serious consequences of the so-called ‘pandemic’. In total until late last week there have been just 18 cases for a population of around 180,000 full time residents on Crete. The 19th case is a 23yr old Swedish man working in Chania who was first diagnosed with the coronavirus in Athens but crossed to Chania last week. Chania is a lony wasy from where I live. I often remind visitors that we are a significantly large island. Chania is a 3-4 hour drive from my neck of the woods. Of course there is concern that visitors from all over Europe and other ‘safe’ countries will introduce more cases of the #Chinavirus. Based on statistics to date, Greece by prompt early actions has a low incidence of cases overall. Crete has done exceptionally well, after the Athens Government banned travel from the mainland to the Greek Islands early on.

                Anyway, the weather  is perfect, today it is blue clear skies and while hot, there is a cooling wind, Just what visitors would expect for this time of year. If you are coming, be fit, and get the sunscreen ready, you’ll be needing it.

                B-) B-) B-)

                If you are going to Greece for a visit, there is a new compulsory form to be completed before your arrival. Details here.

                • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by admin.
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