The Greek Tourism Ministry has released the health protocols that are to be followed by all tourism companies and travel agencies in Greece offering road transport services (tour buses with open or closed top) in order for their safe operation in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rules for tourism companies – travel agencies:
• In accordance to current legislation, which is constantly revised in accordance with the epidemiological situation, the health protocols place a limit on the maximum number of passengers permitted onboard a tour bus in Greece. Every tour bus of public use and buses with open or closed top is allowed to carry 50 percent of its maximum passenger capacity.
• Tourism companies operating tour buses should be fully informed about the Covid-19 pandemic and offer training and guidance to their staff regarding the symptoms of the coronavirus: cough, fever, shortness of breath.
• Staff must also be informed and trained in accordance with the guidelines set by Greece’s public health organization (EODY) to meticulously maintain hygiene measures and hand washing techniques; properly use personal protective equipment and antiseptics; avoid contact with patients who have respiratory symptoms; and apply proper waste management practices.
• Bus staff must be trained to follow procedures to manage suspected cases – for example passengers that show symptoms of Covid-19 infection – in order to provide assistance according to EODY guidelines.
• Tourism companies operating tour buses must draw up a written plan to manage suspected Covid-19 cases, according to the instructions of EODY. This must be available in all vehicles.
• Antiseptics should be available at the entrance of each bus.
• It is recommended that a transparent plexiglas divider be placed to separate the driver from passengers.
• In the case of open-top tourist buses, disembarkation must take place prior to boarding.
• Seating is allowed in accordance to a special layout – one seat must be left vacant in all directions.
• The use of fabric face masks is mandatory throughout the journey.
• The continuous natural ventilation of buses is recommended.
• The meticulous disinfection of all areas is recommended after each transport or after the end of the shift, as well as the cleaning of surfaces and frequently touched surfaces (for example handrails) with an anticeptic solution after each route.
Rules for car rental companies
• All vehicles must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected following their use by different customers.
• A limit must be placed on the maximum number of passengers allowed in vehicles in accordance to current legislation which is revised in accordance with the epidemiological situation.
– Vehicles of up to seven seats are allowed to transport two passengers (and the driver),
– Vehicles of eight or nine seats are allowed to transport three passengers (and the driver),
– Passenger limit may be exceeded in the case of families with minors.
Cars with a driver:
– Vehicles of up to five seats, can transfer one passenger and the driver. A person with special needs may be accompanied by one person.
– Vehicles of up to six or seven seats can transfer two passengers and the driver.
– Vehicles of eight or nine seats cam transfer three passengers and the driver.
– Passenger limit may be exceeded for the transfer of families with minors.
– The use of face masks is mandatory for all passengers and the driver.
The complete Greek version of the protocols for tourism companies and travel agencies in Greece that offer road transport services, can be downloaded below: