Greece is hearing up to welcome back tourists in time for some late summer holidays following the reopening of its borders. Hotels and holiday rentals, including Airbnbs, have been given the green light to restart business.
In line with the latest decision by the Greek government, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued a new update for Britons who may be travelling to the country or who may have stayed in Greece throughout the pandemic.
The FCO explains: “All hotels are permitted to open. Airbnb accommodation is also available.”
It adds: “Shops, bars and restaurants are open, as are other service providers like driving schools and private tuition centres.
“Relevant public health regulations apply when visiting shops, bars, restaurants and other public spaces, including limits on the number of customers per square metre.
“You should comply with these requirements, and all other advice of the Greek authorities.”
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Though British citizens are not banned from entering Greece, the country has extended its suspension of flights between the UK and Greece until June 30.
Authorities in the country are also imposing a mandatory quarantine period for those arriving from departure airports it deems as “high risk”.
UK airports included on the list set out by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) include Birmingham, Doncaster Sheffield, East Midlands, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool John Lennon, London City, Luton, Manchester Airport, Newcastle International and Stansted.
The FCO explains: “The Greek authorities have introduced testing and self-isolation/quarantine requirements for new arrivals into Greece. These may vary according to where your flight originated.
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“Mandatory testing and self-isolation/quarantine are in place for anyone arriving into Greece from an airport listed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
“The nationality of the person arriving in Greece is not relevant: instead, the EASA’s list refers to airports in regions deemed as meriting additional public health measures.
“If you arrive into Greece on a flight from an airport which is not listed by the EASA, you may not be tested or required to self-isolate.
“However, the Greek authorities have indicated their intention to carry out sample testing on some arrivals, who are also likely to be required to self-isolate.”
Despite the updates in Greece, Britons hoping to jet off imminently may have to wait a while.
The UK government continues to advise against all nonessential travel.
It is thought that new “air bridges” could come into play soon, though, which may offer more flexibility for holidaymakers.
The FCO adds that its current travel advisory is “under constant review”.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We will only open up air bridges when it is safe to do so and there will be more on that on the review period on June 29.
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“We are talking to airlines and talking to airports and will talk to other countries about it, but the basic principle must be that we don’t end up in a second wave situation.”
However, airlines remain hopeful that Greece will be one of the countries to enter into an agreement with the UK.
TUI has already listed Crete, Kos and Rhodes as three of the eight destinations it will fly to in July.
The airline has assured passengers it will only fly to destinations where travellers will not face a quarantine period.