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Greek Hoteliers Call for Mandatory Covid-19 Testing

As Greece opens its borders to travelers from dozens of countries, Greek hoteliers are urging the government to implement mandatory Covid-19 testing 72 hours ahead of travel to all incoming tourists stressing that the sector can no longer suffer additional setbacks.

Compulsory tests everywhere… for all those coming from countries with burdened epidemiological data… We cannot afford other setbacks, revenue in hospitality has collapsed,” said Hellenic Hoteliers Federation (POX) President Grigoris Tasios speaking to SKAI online recently.

Tasios underlined the importance of quick and well-researched decisions which will enable tourism professionals to operate without added problems.

POX President Grigoris Tasios

Referring to summer this year as the “Covid-19 season”, Tasios reiterated the federation’s recommendation that additional testing measures be applied particularly at border check points due to a large incoming flow of tourists via road and expressed his concerns about the accuracy of Covid-19 detection in neighboring countries due to lagging infrastructure and high cost.

“Businesses cannot operate with setbacks. The average occupancy in mainland Greece was set to reach 40 percent but now has dropped to 25 percent,” said Tasios adding that health protocols “should be applied by all and not only by hotel enterprises which have also shouldered the added costs.

Meanwhile on the islands, Tasios said occupancy had dropped to around 10-15 percent.

‘Covid Bonus’ subsidy program for ‘healthy tourists’

Photo source: Greek Health Ministry (moh.gov.gr)

Speaking to Real Fm on Thursday, Tasios said that Greek hotels are keen on covering 50 percent of the cost of the 72-hour pre-travel Covid-19 tests of travelers that produce a negative result upon arrival.

Dubbed the “Covid Bonus reward program”, the initiative – which is not in force at the moment – will aim to attract healthy travelers to choose Greece to spend their holidays.

“We are in contact with the competent ministries to implement this private initiative and once again support tourism, but this must be implemented horizontally and there should be no exclusion of tourists who prove to be healthy through the test, such as visitors from Serbia or Russia,” Tasios stressed.

It should be reminded that hoteliers are calling for extra safety measures as Greece opens to travelers from the UK (Wednesday) and Sweden (July 20) this month and is considering accepting visitors from the US as well as from other non-EU countries with a mandatory negative PRC test result 72 hours ahead of travel.

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  1. Robert Ferguson Reply

    Do these Hoteliers not realise it will stop people travelling if this rule is brought in. I bought two Virus test Kits cost £240 you do the test yourself then post it to the lab, no way would you get the results in 72 hours. The £120 cost of the kits would stop people going to Greece, a family of four thats £480 no one is going to pay that. You either want tourists or you don’t rules have changed so often, we live in Northern Ireland no deaths for over a week and new cases in single figures. We have had to fly from Birmingham already an extra cost.

  2. Alexa Reply

    I’m travelling to Greece every summer, and I’m staying there for a month. This year even though I’m healthy and I’m not even in my country, which has hard situation cause Covid19, I can’t enter Greece no matter what. I’m not allowed to enter it from another country, where I spent more than 3 weeks, where cases of Covid19 are just a few, just because I have Serbian passport! This is racism. You should let people prove their health, no matter where are they coming from.

  3. EM Page Reply

    Looking on some forums I’m wondering if British should pull out this year, airlines need to cancel holidays and let people have refunds no one not sure what to expect when they arrive in Greece with having tests and isolating if someone test is positive now hotels want you to have a test people work hard to pay for a holiday I’ve also been told some Greeks don’t want us there .

  4. Satti Reply

    Don’t those hoteliers understand that covid tests is exactly what puts people off travelling to Greece? If they make covid tests mandatory 72h before entering Greece, their occupancy rate is going to drop to 5%

  5. Lille Wigham Reply

    Please be aware that although we (from Britain) are allowed to travel to Greece which is, if Mandatory tests were required 72 hours is unrealistic. If testing is required the turn around time here in Britain is several days for results to be received. I do not know what the solution would be apart from cancelling the holidays booked.

  6. Richard Rodgers Reply

    I certainly accept the proposal for a Covid Test for incoming travellers. However, it is difficult to organise a private test for instance in Ireland and the cost is approximately €300/350. But should the test be mandatory will there be countries exempt from the rule to pre test.

  7. Stephen Cronin Reply

    Surely the revised PLF form, the temperature monitoring of incoming passengers and the randomly selected border testing go a very long way towards this already?

  8. Hash Reply

    This is a little too late!

  9. Tatjana Knezevic Reply

    Hello from Serbia, we feel like it’s written on our forehad “be aware of those who are coming from third-countries, they are dangerously infected”. The Greek Goverment should say: tested and healthy or tested-positive, no matter where you are comming from. We all are PEOPLE, f…our passports and make this summer liveable for us who LOVE Greece and the Greeks!

  10. Colin Ayers (from UK) Reply

    Grigoris Tasios and his Federation needs to think again as their recommendation about compulsory testing is a disastrous imposition on the majority of visitors who will not carry the virus and would automatically impose another setback to your tourist industry. We have already had restrictions placed on entry to your country until it is deemed to be safe. If he thinks tourists will be prepared to queue for hours to be tested then to hang around for 24 hours waiting for results, when other destinations have no such impositions, then he needs to think again. I have booked to come to Greece shortly. If I had known that 100% testing could be imposed for no good reason, then I would, like many others, would go elsewhere.

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