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Greece to Welcome Direct Flights from UK

Direct flights from the UK are set to resume on July 15, Greece said on Monday, days after the British government included Greek nationals on its list of countries from which quarantine-free entry is allowed.

In a press briefing on Monday, Government Spokesperson Stelios Petsas announced the complete resumption of travel between Greece and the UK.

“In cooperation with the British government and following the advice of experts, the government is announcing the resumption of direct flights from Britain to all airports in the country as of July 15,” Petsas said.

On Friday, Britain announced that Greece was included on a list of countries to and from which travelers can enter the UK without entering 14-day isolation as of July 10 provided they have not visited or stopped in any other country or territory in the preceding 14 days. This applies to all travel to England, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route.

Initially, UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps had told BBC that Greece was not on the list. He cited the lack of reciprocity on the part of Greece as the reason behind the decision referring to an aviation directive (NOTAM) issued last week extending a previous suspension of all flights to and from the UK until July 15.

“Greece does not feature as it has banned flights from the UK until 15 July,” Shapps said last week only to be refuted hours later.

Greece is traditionally a favorite destination for British travelers, many of whom either have holiday homes in the country or return each year.

With regard to Sweden, where at least 71, 419 people have been infected with Covid-19 and 5,420 have died, Petsas said the government’s Covid-19 committee was continuously assessing the risk and that at the current time Greece would not be opening its borders to Swedish travelers.

“We are monitoring the epidemiological data and we will make the relevant announcements, depending on their development,” he said.

Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Linde described Greece’s decision as “regrettable” adding that it “creates uncertainty and concern for travelers who have planned to travel from Sweden to Greece this summer”.

She added that Swedish tourists “may need to consider whether it is appropriate to travel to Greece this summer”.

Rhodes airport (archive photo)

In the meantime, a flight from Sweden did arrive on Rhodes last week, with the Greek tourism ministry claiming passengers on board the TUI Nordic charter flight had been granted special entry permits as well as tested for Covid-19.

Greece also extended a travel ban to all visitors from Serbia starting today through to July 15, the government said on Sunday, in an attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus.

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  1. Alexis Pandelis Reply

    With currently 241’196 (!) active cases in the UK (and 44’220 dead) the decision to allow travel from the UK to Greece is simply irresponsible.

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