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Greece Still Struggling to Set Up Covid-19 Hotels

Hotel owners in Greece are not showing interest in the Greek tourism ministry’s call for hotels to operate as quarantine operations and host tourists who may contract the coronavirus while on holiday.

For example, only three hotels on Crete and none on Santorini – two of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations – have expressed interest in the ministry’s program, which offers hotel proprietors 30 euros per day (includes food) for rooms used as temporary quarantine and accommodation areas for positive Covid-19 cases and 10 euros per day for rooms that remain empty.

The ministry has now extended the procedure to June 26 (press here for information in Greek).

According to the government’s Covid-19 plan, there should be one quarantine hotel operating in every prefecture.

Referring to hoteliers’ reluctance to participate in the program, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis told Open TV that the government may be forced to requisition hotels for the season’s health safety needs.

On the other hand, hoteliers are saying the government agreement is no way profitable for hotel enterprises, which will be required with the 30-euro daily expense to cover accommodation, three daily meals, protective items, as well as tax, adding that at the same time business owners are required to spend on increased safety measures according to the new Covid-19 health protocols.

Hotel owners have suggested rooms be used instead of entire hotels.

On its part, the Santorini Hoteliers Association (SHA) has suggested taking on the full responsibility of possible Covid-19 case management in a setting that would be able to cater to the needs of the high-end travelers visiting the island.

“It would be unwise to suffer irreparably from a few incidents that are likely to have incalculable consequences, not only for the island but also for our tourism product as a whole and to diminish the overall effort made so far,” said the association in a letter to the tourism, health, and citizen’s protection ministries.

Greece has said that it would be covering the cost of treatment for tourists who test positive for Covid-19 during their visit.

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