Greek Civil Protection and Crisis Management Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias on Tuesday said that the overall picture of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases from UK arrivals is not alarming.
Speaking during a televised address, Hardalias said that from July 15, the day direct flights were allowed back to Greece from the UK, until July 19, 23,559 arrivals from the country were recorded.
The deputy minister said that until July 19, 6,692 tests were performed and the results – as well as their verifications – for 5,105 came back negative (results of the remaining tests are pending).
“Test results that are targeted and of concern to us are always verified a second time,” the deputy minister said, adding that three passengers from London who transited in EU airports had tested positive.
“The overall picture of (arrivals from) the United Kingdom does not alarm us at the moment,” Hardalias said.
Moreover, the deputy minister informed that authorities are monitoring the Covid-19 state of countries to examine from which nations Greece could possibly welcome visitors in a later stage.
“Our monitoring is based on research and statistics and most importantly on a scientific platform that involves our epidemiologists, who help us better approach any issues related to the protocols, but also involves a team of experts who advise on targeted test sampling so that we can use the results to move towards the next day,” Hardalias said.
The deputy minister reminded that after the lockdown, Greece opened to tourism is a safe way, knowing from the start that Covid-19 cases would possibly be imported from foreign visitors.
“However, we implemented an advanced system for examining travelers and tracking cases, using a sophisticated algorithm and detailed protocols, for our visitors to feel safe, but also to protect the health of tourism employees,” he said.
According to Hardalias, authorities every day monitor developments at Greece’s entry points and on a domestic level.
“When we have new epidemiological data we adapt our actions accordingly… Where necessary, we closed borders that we had opened, we maintained flight bans and we imposed additional rules for health safety,” he stressed.
Since July 1, when Greece opened its borders to tourists, Greek authorities have conducted 127,900 Covid-19 tests and recorded 295 confirmed cases in travelers.
The majority of positive cases were found from travelers from the following countries: Serbia (78 cases), Bulgaria (63 cases), Romania (61 cases), Albania (23 cases) and the US (26 cases).