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Misleading UK Press Impacting Greek Tourism, Says South Aegean Chief

Rhodes island. Photo Source: Visit Greece

Rhodes island. Photo Source: Visit Greece

South Aegean Region tourism stakeholders are calling on Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis to take action and rectify “false claims” in the UK press with regard to a potential 14-day quarantine requirement for returning travelers after they have visited the region’s islands due to Covid-19.

South Aegean Region Governor George Hatzimarkos said in a letter to Theoharis and to Deputy Tourism Minister Manos Konsolas that the UK press appear to have based their stories on inaccurate data with regard to the number of Covid-19 cases in Greece.

He is urging the tourism ministry to take immediate action and correct the reports, which he said may potentially hurt bookings to Greece.

South Aegean Region Governor George Hatzimarkos.

South Aegean Region Governor George Hatzimarkos.

“The said media are basing their arguments after estimating, incorrectly, that the number of cases in Greece has already exceeded the limit of 20 cases per 100,000 inhabitants,” Hatzimarkos said in the letter, noting that certain media outlets have failed to add that this data concerns a 14-day period which they have “intentionally or mistakenly left out”, he said.

Hatzimarkos goes on to note that the UK authorities are basing their assessments for inclusion on the country’s quarantine list on Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period, in which Greece currently holds a score of 13.6, under the limit of 20, creating a false impression.

Representing dozens of popular Greek islands, including Rhodes, Mykonos, Paros, and Santorini, Hadjimarkos is calling on Greek authorities to rectify the misleading press coverage, adding that “the task of facilitating tourism in the midst of a pandemic requires high levels of vigilance, preparedness and cooperation from all”.

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  1. Kate Younge Reply

    We were in Pefkos Rhodes for 3 weeks in July. It’s no great hassle to have a couple of masks in your bag to wear in shops and supermarkets. In fact, a friend who lives in Rhodes got us some brilliant masks from an optician in Rhodes town. They are perspex and have glasses type arms, they can be worn over glasses and you don’t get steamed up. I found that we could have a drink using a straw while still wearing the masks. So UK government, stop trying to worry people about having a holiday in Greece. The Greeks need us to visit them, to help the economy and to keep Greece open for now and the future.

  2. Kate Younge Reply

    Greece and the islands are the safest place you can go! A very low incidence of covid19. Most islands haven’t had any cases. Beautiful beaches great food the sun from 4am, warm sea, what more could you want?!

    • Pauline Bradley Reply

      We are living in Rhodes it’s so safe everyone adhering to the rules and social distancing feels far safer than uk

  3. Graham Hudson Reply

    Its a big city problem not an island issue at all.

  4. Andy Reply

    I due to fly to santorini how safe is it because I can’t afford to self isolate on return

  5. Lisa Reply

    We are currently holidaying in Mykonos, I have felt more safe here than Britain right now, the hotel is brilliant for safety and the beaches are also safety concious having protection covers over the beds, dont be put off by wrong media information, more dangerous in Britain

  6. jayne Reply

    Thank you . Was getting worried

  7. Michael Sasa Reply

    We are currently holidaying in Rhodes and too have been concerned over UK press reports of an imminent quarantine. We have even considered cutting our vacation short but have decided, based on the amazing work that our hotel has done in keeping us and their staff as safe as possible, to stay and enjoy this beautiful country, whilst being respectful of local virus control measures. I certainly feel safer here than London. Greece and the Greek people will always have a special place in my heart

  8. Julie Reply

    I wish there were more police patrolling to see if tourists/locals are wearing their masks!!!

    • Alan Cain Reply

      I’m currently in Rhodes too. I’m beginning to wonder if the press are under the influence of the UK government getting people to stay in the UK spending their money there. I mean Greece is still under 300 cases a day and last week in Northampton it was 300 cases in one building of the M and S sandwich making factory.
      Put that in perspective. One building in the UK against the entire nation of Greece? The hysteria whipped up by bad journalism needs to stop. And in Rhodes procedures are followed more than in the UK

    • Nick Formby Reply

      Currently in Halkidiki and feel safer here than UK. Hotel have introduced excellent policies to make us feel safe and enjoy the holiday. British press exaggeration and poor assumptions is redicous.

  9. Julie Royall Reply

    There is no need for the 14 day quarantine from every single Greek island- if it is needed then pin point the exact area / island as Greece relies heavily on tourists and this could kill Greece more than COVID- it’s about balancing! Surely common sense ?!

    • Alan Cain Reply

      So are you in Greece now? As my wife has tried to walk in a few shops forgetting her mask and has been roared at every time. People follow protocol here in Rhodes more than in the UK. I don’t feel the Greeks need policing.

    • David Ford Reply

      The worst rate it has got up to in Greece is 15.9 the last seven days up to 24/8/2019 a maximum of 284 in one day. It would take seven constant days of 297+ to reach the 20/100000 so called limit. Most of Greater Manchester are at 30 to 60 per 100000. Leicester etc and lots of other UK areas are well above the 20. Much safer in Greece and especially the islands like Zaknthos with only a very few cases all told. Get a grip UK press and government. Get your own house in order.

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