In 2019, the average UK resident was abroad for a total of 9.7 nights and spent £670 while there. A total of 2,909 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the country, according to figures on Saturday. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Holidaymakers will be allowed from 15 June as the Greek government looks to soften the financial blow of coronavirus. Love them, or loathe them, British tourists are back in Greece and Athens’ tourism minister has wasted no time in expressing his delight. Read our full mailing list consent terms here. The halt to global travel has proved devastating to a Mediterranean country such as Greece, where tourism makes up as much as 30% of economic output … Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. The last minute decision making is also making it virtually impossible for airlines to plan and for tourists to plan holidays. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Others include Australia, Bulgaria, Israel, Norway, Finland, Japan and the Czech Republic. This is a relatively low number compared with elsewhere in the European Union. “If the test is positive, the passenger is quarantined under supervision for 14 days,” the ministry of foreign affairs said. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. … Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Visitgreece.gr is the official tourism web site for Greece, run by the Greek National Tourism Organisation, where you'll find information on the main tourist destinations, such as cities, beaches, as well as activities, events and much more! UK and Italy followed on the ranking with roughly 3.5 million and 1.5 million travelers in Greece, respectively. “Today, we can’t wait to have them,” said Charalambos Varvarigos, the vice-mayor of Laganas, the Zakynthian resort often associated with youthful hedonism. - Greece's prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has urged the nation to brace for what he calls "a very difficult tourist period" ahead of the resumption of international flights to all destinations on Wednesday. As a result, UK holidaymakers are having to undergo mass testing in airport lounges nationwide. The country's tourism industry contributes to about 18% of its Gross Domestic Product. It was projected to attract about 30 million tourists in the following year. Last modified on Fri 17 Jul 2020 10.58 EDT. Greeks were “very, very happy” that Britons were finally returning, Harry Theoharis said. Tourists can visit Greece again from mid-June, its tourism ministry has said – although there will be blanket testing for people coming from certain countries, including the UK. Greece restarted regular ferry services from the mainland to its islands on Monday and cafes and restaurants were also back open for business as the country accelerated efforts to salvage its tourism season. Very worrying if like me your going in a fortnight. Travellers from Scotland are still permitted to travel to Greece, but will have to self isolate for two weeks upon their return. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. Tourists can visit Greece again from mid-June, its tourism ministry has said – although there will be blanket testing for people coming from certain countries, including the UK. The reopening date for all tourists to Greece has been brought forward–to June 15. Clarifying how tourism would work from mid-June a day later, Greek officials said travellers would still be allowed from other countries – but they would all be tested and have to self-quarantine for seven days if the test comes back negative. Germany, Denmark, New Zealand, South Korea, China are on the list of 29 countries Greece will accept tourists from without blanket testing. And it appears Theoharis’s feeling is reciprocated: within 24 hours of the flight ban being lifted, around 1,200 Britons had landed in Greece. If you are returning to the UK from Greece (apart from the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete) on or after 4am on 14 November, you will … “If the number and percentage of those found to be positive is low, and is limited to under 30 to 40 cases, then with constant inspections and epidemiological oversight, the British tourist market will remain open.”. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. “Too high a percentage would endanger the Greek population, and tourism more generally and we couldn’t accept that.”, Available for everyone, funded by readers. T he Greek Tourism Ministry has announced that, as of June 15, people from 29 countries will be allowed to enter Greece on direct flights to Athens and to the northern city of Thessaloniki. At this time of year tales of drunken debauchery and misbehaving Britons have usually eclipsed the local news and exhausted those who must handle the fallout in the travel industry. UK lockdown: Can I see my family and friends under new rules? There has been a significant rise in infections since Greece reopened its borders on 1 July – with officials reporting more than 500 cases, and hospital admissions rising from 41 to 83 in less than two weeks. Greece has extended its ban on flights from UK airports until July 15, it has been reported. Direct flights from the UK to Greece are set to resume from next week in a boost to British holidaymakers, it was revealed today. UK tourism accounts for almost 25% of visitors to Greece and in some islands and regions, the percentage is even higher. In a country that has recorded fewer than 4,000 cases and 193 deaths to date, epidemiologists are expressing their concern. How does the Government think we will fill the hotels, villas, tavernas etc? UK flights are allowed back into Greece from July 15 (Picture: Reuters/REX) More than 100 new cases of coronavirus have been imported to Greece since … On Zakynthos and other Ionian isles that rely almost exclusively on British tourism, the relief is almost palpable. In total, 93.1 million trips were taken, amounting to £62.3 billion spent abroad by tourists from the UK. British holidaymakers will have to wait until 15 July, unless restrictions are extended further. Britons are Greece’s most lucrative European market, with more than 3.5 million visiting last year. The latest facts and figures. Greek cities that serve as major tourist destinations include Athens, Chalcidice, Rhodes, Santorini, Crete, Myk… The growing trend makes Greece one of the most visited countries not only in Europe but also in the world. Please contact Greek border police or the consulate for confirmation. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Only 60% of our hotels are open but they are beginning to come,” he said. Greece released a list of 29 countries it considered safe on Friday, saying tourists coming from these places would be randomly tested on arrival. Britons are Greece’s most lucrative European market, with more than 3.5 million visiting last year. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. If you are Israeli coming directly from Isreal with the PCR test, you MAY be permitted entry into Greece. ... as British tourists prepare to descend on the country again. You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. Answer 1 of 16: It’s unfair on some social media sites to read Greece may stop UK tourists entering because of our high cases of Covid, rumours or is it likely to happen. Do you need a face mask and where can you buy one? Fears of coronavirus influx temper enthusiasm over return of ‘our friends from the UK’, Fri 17 Jul 2020 09.18 EDT Their absence would cost €2.56bn for an industry that, at close to 25% of GDP, is the nation’s biggest. But their arrival is also being treated with trepidation. F or years many Greeks cringed at the summer descent of British tourists, concerned that their rowdy and unruly behaviour may be eclipsing … GREECE is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Brits, and the country has just had around 3,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus compared to the UK's 280,000. The easing of lockdown measures started in early May, with hair salons, sports shops and bookstores allowed to open as long as they follow strict hygiene and social distancing measures. Greece is likely to ban Brits when it reopens for tourists due to our poor coronavirus record. In 2015, Greece attracted approximately 26.5 million tourists. Air-corridors are underway and Greece is one of the countries on the list, however, UK tourists were still banned when the country opened up to other visitors on the 1st July. “The result of the mass testing … will determine if Greek borders remain open or not to Britain,” the leading Greek daily, Protothema, wrote. The spectre of people arriving from a country with “so many cases and so many deaths”, in the words of Greek health officials, has stoked fears of “imported incidents” and unease on islands that had so far remained remarkably coronavirus-free. In 2019, Germany ranked as the leading tourist market for Greece with approximately 4.03 million tourists visiting the country. With one in five Greeks reliant on tourism-related work, the sight of Britons signals a return to normality. Coronavirus: Greece extends travel ban on UK visitors for two weeks. Greece’s lockdown is lifting – here’s what you need to know about travel to Greece in 2020. Greece is already facing an increase in coronavirus cases after international tourists were welcomed back on July 1. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. “We always enjoy the company of our friends from the UK,” he told Sky News as air links resumed on Wednesday. It will be expanded on 1 July to include more countries, the tourism ministry said. An employee wears a face mask at a beach of Varkiza as Greece gradually eases lockdown restrictions (Getty Images). You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. While Greece has reopen its borders to more international visitors on Wednesday, July 1, flights carrying passengers from the united kingdom will be restricted, sources told the Athens news agency. From 15 June, travellers from 29 countries – including Albania, Austria, North Macedonia, Switzerland, Estonia, Croatia and Cyprus – will be able to enter Greece on direct flights to Athens and to the northern city of Thessaloniki and will be randomly tested on arrival. The decision by Greece comes as the UK released a list of 74 countries, including Greece, which English tourists can now visit without having to quarantine upon their return. With over 31 million tourists in 2019, three times its population, Greece has more than doubled its number of visitors in 10 years and billions have been invested in services and infrastructure. Reports are saying that tourists from Israel, with a 72-hour PCR test, are also permitted into Greece, however not ALL government websites reflect the information. Greece has extended its ban on flights from UK airports until July 15, it has been reported. By Friday, a reported 200 planes had flown from the UK to the country’s 18 regional airports. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. British tourists are 'UNLIKELY' to be allowed to return to Greece when it reopens in June due to UK's 'medical status', tourism minister admits Haris Theoharis said UK is … The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. Signs that COVID-19 has mutated into a new strain in the United Kingdom has led Greece to require arriving travelers from there to undergo a seven-day … {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}, Greece to open up to tourists in two weeks, Seven charts that show the true scale of the UK coronavirus outbreak, ‘They can blame it for everything’: What coronavirus means for Brexit, The Americans who think that coronavirus is a hoax. released a list of 29 countries it considered safe on Friday, saying tourists coming from these places would be randomly tested on arrival. Greece’s national lockdown – which was put in place in March – brought its business and tourism sector to a virtual standstill as the country tackled the spread of coronavirus. All rights reserved. Government looks to soften financial blow of Covid-19, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. The latest news on Greece’s tourism industry, including articles on hotels, investments, airlines, destinations, B2B events and trends, by Greek Travel Pages. Flights had been suspended since March, although that didn’t stop Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley, travelling to his Aegean villa despite British nationals also having been advised to avoid all but essential international travel. If not, the centre-right government would not hesitate to shut the borders again “calculating that the cost of the risk of the coronavirus spreading is much more important than any benefits to tourism in a year that is considered largely lost”. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. Greece imposed a lockdown early in its coronavirus outbreak, a move which has been credited with keeping the number of infections down. “If there are a lot who test positive from Britain I would not rule out scientists proposing that the borders close again to people [coming in] from the UK,” said Dr Andreas Mentis, the head of the Hellenic Pasteur Institute who sits on the expert committee that advises the government. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. (Video by Press Association) British tourists could become pariahs in Europe, as Greece left the UK off a list of low Covid-19 countries from which holidaymakers can come to visit. Local media reports suggest up to 6,000 visitors from the UK will be tested this week, with soldiers being deployed to specially assembled health units on islands to administer swabs. “We have always had a big soft spot for the English even if some of them do drink. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? Brits warned over Greece travel as 100 tourists hit by coronavirus after country re-opens borders Greece is one of the most popular European holiday … However, some of the world’s worst-affected countries – including the UK, France, Italy and Spain – are not included on the list, which was drawn up based on a document from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. Tourism and related industries make up around 20 per cent of the Greek economy, and the government has been anxious to ensure the tourist season is not lost this year. The threads when they can to create a true meeting of Independent Premium is a relatively number... 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