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Greece Sets Destination Risk Zones as Part of Covid-19 Protection Action Plan

The Hellenic Parliament. Photo Source: @PressParliament / © Aliki Eleftheriou

The Greek government announced that it would begin implementing a far-reaching coronavirus (Covid-19) action plan with precautionary measures on the islands and mainland in preparation to welcome tourists next month.

Authorities have divided the country into three risk zones based on access to health facilities and capacity for Covid-19 testing.

According to the plan jointly drawn up by the health and tourism ministries and published in Greek daily Eleftheros Typos, the zones are:

Zone A – Low Risk – Level 3: covers mainland Greece and Crete, both with a running health system and all destinations that have access to tertiary health facilities with two hours (by ship or car) including the Saronic island, some of the Cyclades, and Evia.

Zone B – Moderate Risk- Level  2: includes all destinations – Santorini, Paros and Rhodes, as well as the Northeast Aegean islands – that have installed Covid-19 ICU beds.

Zone C –  High risk – Level 1: covers the remote islands or destinations with basic healthcare infrastructure or none at all. At these destinations, Covid-19 screening will be conducted on floating EODY (National Organization of Public Health) medical units.

Symi Island. Photo © GTP

Meanwhile, Greece’s National Center for Emergency Assistance EKAB is also set to begin implementing its own action plan on Tuesday for the islands dubbed S.A.F.E. (Stay Alert Fully Educated).

The S.A.F.E plan is aimed at ensuring the readiness of hospital, healthcare centers, regional and island clinics, the Coast Guard, local authorities as well as to train and update healthcare professionals on developments with regard to the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, with regard to the recently announced mandatory health protocols applicable to all tourism enterprises, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said they were aimed at ensuring the health of employees, Greeks and travelers, adding that they “provide flexibility to tourism businesses to adapt the protocols to their own special needs always based on health standards”.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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