Greece to Resume Flights from UK
British Sailors Welcome in Greece Soon
Greece to Resume Flights from UK on 15 June
Travellers from ‘High Risk’ Covid-19 Areas Will Need to Follow Strict Guidelines
Greece is ready to open its arms and welcome the world including the UK but only if you’re willing to be tested with a chance of being quarantined on your holiday.
The country is set to launch a global campaign this week to promote itself to Brits as a safe destination amidst the era of Covid-19. Which means that eager sailors can get ready to experience the joys of a summer sailing around the Greek Islands.
When Will Greece Reopen?
Phased Approach Starts 15 June.
There has been some uncertainty and toing and froing from the Greek Government around when British tourists would be allowed to visit. The latest news is that Greece will open its airports to tourism on 15 June 2020 when international flights will be allowed into Athens and Thessaloniki airports.
From 1 July 2020 flights will be allowed from select international airports into all Greek airports and arrivals by sea will also be possible.
The Greek government’s latest decision reverses an earlier announcement that had caused some confusion and even outrage across the UK.
On 29 May 2020, Greece’s tourism ministry put out a list of 29 countries whose citizens would be allowed to visit but subject to random tests from 15 June. Countries were said to fit an epidemiological profile demonstrating pandemic infection rates that have been kept low.
The UK has undoubtedly been a Covid-19 hotspot and is still struggling to contain the disease so it was evident why it was left off the list. British media outlets, however, responded with headlines of “Brits being banned” highlighting the fact that over 4 million UK citizens visited Greece last year—more than from any other nation.
High-ranking officials have since acknowledged that the list had sown more confusion than clarity. The new list seeks to convey that the Greek government’s decisions were not actually determined by nationality but rather a focus on points of origin.
Greece is hugely dependent on tourism. The sector accounts for almost 25% of its GDP so it’s clear why Greece is eager to reopen and to be one of the first countries to do so. After successfully handling the pandemic with draconian-style restrictions from the beginning, authorities in Greece recorded less than 3,000 cases and 175 fatalities due to the coronavirus.
Expect Clear Guidelines
British Travellers Keen to Visit Could Expect to Be Tested and Potentially Quarantined.
The Greek government is being guided by the EU’s aviation safety agency (EASA) to determine who will be tested. The EASA in coordination with EASA Member States has published a list of airports located in affected areas with a high risk of transmission of the COVID-19 infection.
The EASAs latest list is effective 29 May 2020 and categorises 13 UK airports as high risk:
- Doncaster Sheffield
- East Midlands
- Leeds Bradford
- Liverpool John Lennon
- London City
- Manchester Airport
- Newcastle International
Passengers from UK airports not on the EASA list flying to Greece during the bridge phase will be subject to random testing but quarantine will only be enforced if they test positive for the virus.
Passengers flying in from UK airports considered a high risk will be tested on arrival and required to stay overnight in a hotel for testing. If the test comes back as positive, the passenger will be quarantined under supervision for 14 days. A negative test means the passenger must self-quarantine for seven days.
Once international flights resume on 1 July we can expect the two-tier system to end with spot checks conducted occasionally across the board.
Need some inspiration to help plan your next Greece sailing holiday? Check out our guide to the best destinations to visit on a Greece Yacht Charter.