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Greece Opens Year-round Hotels Under Health Protocols, Rules

Greece’s year-round hotels are reopening their doors as of Monday, June 1, after having been closed since March 23 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The reopening of the hotels come with mandatory health and safety protocols to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission to employees and customers.

The Greek Tourism Ministry on Sunday released the joint ministerial decision concerning the protocols for the operation of hotels and other tourism enterprises in the post-Covid-19 era. The decision was published in the Greek Government Gazette.

The government decision provides information on a new certification seal – named “Health First” – which will be mandatory for all hotels and other tourist accommodation establishments in Greece. The seal, which will assure that a hotel complies with the announced health protocols, must be displayed in the reception area.

Rules

Following are a number of new rules that must be followed by all hotels in Greece, according to the government decision.

– All hotel employees (including interns) must wear a face mask (surgical or cloth) and disposable gloves. Reception staff may wear a face shield.
– All hotel employees must follow basic rules to avoid Covid-19 transmission: Hand hygiene, use of antiseptics, avoidance of handshakes, keeping physical distance, avoiding contact of hands with the face and generally observing personal and respiratory hygiene measures.
– Proper management of a suspected coronavirus case.
– Log book for the the recording of incidents related to the prevention or treatment of a possible Covid-19 case

Hotel buffets

– Provision of disinfectant for hands at the dining area’s entrance. Staff must make sure that it is used by customers
– Staff must maintain the required distances when serving customers at the buffet
– All hotels must install sneeze guards (protective food guards that protect buffet line entrées and sides from airborne contaminants).
– The food at the buffet will be served only by the hotel’s kitchen staff (who will be properly equipped with masks and gloves). The customer should not come in contact of the customer with the food and utensils at the buffet.
– It is recommended for food to be placed in individual packets in areas where staff is not serving.
– Automatic coffee machines, juicers, etc., should only be used by the staff (who will be properly equipped with masks and gloves).

Hotel bars

– Only packaged individual side dishes are provided with drinks.
– Room service is encouraged at no extra charge.

Training

The government decision underlines that all hotel employees will be obliged to follow an educational/training program focused on the health protocols. The educational/training process falls under the responsibility of the Tourism Ministry, which may assign the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels and partner agencies to supervise.

Fines

Anyone associated with the hotel that are found to be violating the health protocols will be punished with fines between 500 to 5,000 euros, while the hotel’s operation may be suspended from 15 to 90 days.

The health protocols are applied until December 31, as part of the country’s measures to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite June 1 being the official date for the opening of year-round hotels, a number of units remained closed and plan to reopen from June 15 onwards, when the country’s borders will be open to welcome flights from abroad to Athens and Thessaloniki, according to press reports.

Greece’s seasonal hotels are expected to begin operations as of June 15.

GTP has launched a dedicated section for the reopening of Greece’s hotels in the post-Covid-19 period. Click on the following link for more information.

Greek hotels preparing to welcome their guests

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