Greece is welcoming back tourists - but UK travellers are still banned

Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 12:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 12:03 pm
This is why UK travellers will need to wait longer before going on a trip to Greece (Photo: Shutterstock)
This is why UK travellers will need to wait longer before going on a trip to Greece (Photo: Shutterstock)

As lockdown restrictions around the world begin to ease, many people are excited to kick start their summer holidays. Greece is one of the most popular destinations for UK travellers.

However, UK holidaymakers will need to hold off on any Greek getaways for the time being as it has been revealed that the country will not be accepting travellers from the UK until mid-July.

How long will the ban last?

The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mistotakis, said that the country would be extending its ban on UK flights for a further two weeks.

This means that, despite the Greek borders being opened up to other international visitors on Wednesday 1 July, UK travellers will need to wait until 15 July to fly to Greece.

This decision was made by Mistotakis and his officials, with sources telling Athens News Agency that the PM said, “The whole opening procedure is dynamic and the data will be continuously evaluated.”

It’s not just direct flights from the UK that have been blocked from entering Greece, but also flights from Sweden.

Why are UK travellers banned?

Greece’s tourism minister, Haris Theoharis, had previously told ITV News that the UK’s track record regarding coronavirus was not good enough to permit British travellers to visit the country.

He said, “I think that the UK has a big difference in terms of the current medical status of the country with Greece, so I don’t think it’s likely it will be there.”

As of Monday 29 June, Greece has reported 3,376 cases of the virus and 191 coronavirus deaths.

New rules for travelling to Greece

On 1 July, Greece will be welcoming international visitors, but there are new rules in place for travellers coming into the country.

All travellers are required to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 48 hours before entering the country.

The PLF form asks detailed questions like how you’re travelling (via plane, ferry, train) and details about your transportation (flight number, seat number, date of entry), the duration of your stays in other countries, and the address you’re staying at whilst in Greece.

When arriving in the country, travellers may be directed to a screening area where they will be tested for coronavirus by a trained health team. They will then be directed to self-isolate at the address provided in their PLF form until the results from the test are available.

All passengers travelling to Greece must follow all hygiene protocols in place, like the use of masks and social distancing.