Are British Tourists welcome in Greece? Interview with Greek tourism minister on Sky (video) explains entry process, cruises, covid healthcare and more

The British tourists in Greece are welcome, said in an interview with Sky News, the Minister of Tourism Mr. Haris Theocharis.

The conception is as follows:

“Are British tourists welcome in Greece?

Of course they are welcome in Greece. They are welcome every year. The United Kingdom is the second largest country of origin for the Greek tourism industry and we are very happy to welcome them and have them with us. Certainly welcome, direct flights, as you said, will be available from 15 July and we hope this start will lead to a successful, enjoyable and above all safe tourist season this year.

Before Wednesday, if one is a British tourist and arrives in Greece, what will happen?

He will definitely be welcome. There is no ban on people arriving in Greece from the United Kingdom. There is only a ban on direct flights. So, if you come through an intermediate destination, through another airport, you are definitely welcome. I need to remind everyone that we have a passenger tracking form that travelers must complete up to one day before their arrival, and which is located at travel.gov.gr. There they can fill in their details, they immediately receive confirmation that they have submitted it and a QR Code is sent to them at midnight on the day they arrive in Greece.

Will this apply after Wednesday, when direct flights will resume?

Yes correctly. Valid after Wednesday. The process is easy. In the first days we fixed some problems. But now everything is fine, it is a simple process. We urge the public to simply fill out the form. This is part of the package, our assurance that every tourist arriving in Greece will be safe.

So, as far as the authorities are concerned, did Stanley Johnson, the father of the British Prime Minister, do something wrong by coming to his home in Ithaca (sic) via Bulgaria?

No, no rule has been violated. There is a possibility to come through an intermediate station and from Wednesday direct flights will also be available and many have been planned.

What is the attitude of Greece towards cruise ships?

Cruises to the Greek islands are very popular. The British government recommends that no one go on cruises at this time. Do you welcome cruise ships?
Yes indeed. We have been very active in ensuring the creation of protocols at least at European level. Now that this is over, this is a process that has clarified the international situation regarding cruise ships. And with the help of Greek scientists in the creation of protocols. We are now in the process of transcribing the protocols into the Greek legal system, making the necessary changes for our country. Once this is over – and it should be done by next Friday – we will be free to welcome cruise ships. Three companies have openly expressed their desire to start cruising and we welcome that.

What was the impact on the Greek economy from this pandemic?

Well, as you can imagine, we got into lockdown very early, as other countries did, and that had a significant economic impact. In the first quarter we had a moderate recession compared to other European countries, only 0.9% compared to the European average of 3.2%. This is a good sign, if you will, however, the second quarter is the most difficult and the numbers from the statistical services have not come out yet. But we hope and are optimistic, in the sense that we have managed to complete the necessary preparations to be able to receive tourists. So this is a good sign for us, we welcome tourists from July 1st onwards and gradually we hope to open up to a lot more markets. The United Kingdom, as you know and already mentioned, starts next Wednesday,

If some tourists get sick with a corona while they are in Greece, what will happen to them?

We have explained our health plan to ensure the safety of our visitors and our citizens, of course. The health plan of “Destination Greece Health First” (“Destination Greece – Health First”) has four pillars: -the careful selection of countries-, we have already described this, -the test process-, -the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) – and -the selection of some people to be tested- The third pillar is health protocols, to ensure that the possible spread of the virus is slowed down. So, there is more social distancing and health rules that you can expect and imagine and finally I come to your question, if someone is found positive or needs treatment, we will take it for free and without any need for insurance. Of course,

One thought on “Are British Tourists welcome in Greece? Interview with Greek tourism minister on Sky (video) explains entry process, cruises, covid healthcare and more

  • July 13, 2020 at 7:06 pm
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    The minister of tourism clearly is expressing the views as presented to him by the huge tourist operator companies such as TUI…
    Such operators could care less for the public health in Greece, as mater of fact, in any state around the world.
    They only care about their business and associated profits, simply, how in the middle of the pandemic their business and profits can stay at certain levels with little or no care for the public health.

    A simple question comes in mind that is :

    If in 2019, the revenue to this country was about 25 billion euros from tourism, today, due to the economic decline (pandemic), the official estimate from the government agencies as well as certain tourist operators is about 25% of the 2019 revenue, that is about 6 billion euros…

    Is worthwhile the risk of people ‘s health, both citizens and tourists, for 6 billions in revenue??? Provided that the health protection protocols, procedures and medical materials could cost over a billion…
    Just common sense says, it is Not worthwhile to take such risk…
    Do the minister of tourism and his advisers (tourist operators) have any common sense?

    Reply

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