Tourism is Not to Blame for Rise in Greece‘s Covid-19 Cases, Says Deputy Minister
Tourism is not responsible for the recent rise in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases recorded in Greece, according to Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias.
Speaking during his weekly briefing to the media, Hardalias clarified that – at the moment – 83 percent of Greece’s confirmed Covid-19 cases are domestic (due to lax observation of health measures) and 17 percent have been imported from travelers.
“We are the 132nd country in the world in cases per one million inhabitants and 108th in deaths per one million inhabitants,” the deputy minister said.
Presenting data, Hardalias said that since Greece opened to travel from abroad, some 319,000 tests were conducted out of over 2.5 million arrivals and only 615 were positive for Covid-19.
The deputy minister noted that there is an increase in cases worldwide – even in countries that had their borders closed to tourism, such as Israel.
According to Hardalias, despite the increased cases recorded, Greece remains at a better level compared to other countries, “without this meaning that we should be complacent as the pandemic shows no signs of remission”.
The deputy minister also informed that the government will soon announce decisions regarding the protocols for the opening of schools (set for September 7) and for employees returning to work from vacation. According to reports, a series of options for return staff are being considered, including extending telework as part of self-isolation measures.
The Greek government recently announced a number of precautionary measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Greece, including a curfew for restaurants and bars in numerous destinations, including Athens, and extra restrictions for the islands of Paros and Antiparos.
Greece on Tuesday saw 269 new coronavirus cases (39 cases were imported from travelers abroad), raising the total number to 7,472. The death toll in the country has reached 232.
Greek PM to evaluate measures
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected on Wednesday to assess the situation via teleconference with his ministers and health experts.
According to reports, during the teleconference, the measures already taken will be evaluated based on the course of the confirmed cases in the country.
Moreover, among other things, the PM is expected to discuss if the use of masks should become mandatory outdoors.
Hello from the uk . A fantastic job being done with Greece and daily updates to inform us . Hoping to visit Crete very soon . Please may I have update of criteria for entry .
Well as a US citizens, I know we aren’t to blame for the rise of cases anywhere in Europe since we can’t. go there. My conscious is clear.
Thank you for your regular clear and coherent updates on the covid 19 situation in Greece, unlike the UK! Looking forward to visiting Crete shortly.
Right….at the airports it is ONLY random testing. They are not evaluating based on the course of the confirmed cases in the country. so ever since they have opened the BORDERS are numbers are climbing. Do the MATH……
In response to the observation (by Stella) that airports in Greece are not conducting informed or targeted Covid tests of international arrivals based on the existing cases of the country from which visitors are arriving:
I’m not sure WHICH Greek airports were being referred to in this comment.
I arrived in ATHENS on 29 JULY 2020 (from Australia). Prior to leaving, I found clearly publicised outlines about which countries Greece was accepting or NOT accepting arrivals from, whether accepted arrivals did or did not require testing upon arrival in Athens based on their country of departure or if arrivals needed to have been already tested prior to arrival in Athens. As mentioned, the outlines also stated which countries were barred from entry, at the time. And there was the PLF (Passenger Locator Form) with an assigned QR CODE all arrivals had to present upon entry to Athens, so that airport quarantine could direct arrivals towards the category of testing (or not) they fell into.
My eventual experience at Athens airport of this effort to filter, organise and check (where necessary) the COVID status of arrivals was positive. In my long queue of arrivals at Athens, each arrival presented their QR CODE and was directed to either a “to be tested or detained queue” or an “OK to enter without testing queue”, based on their QR CODE status. Also, this was conducted with little unnecessary hysteria by airport official. Officials applied a non-hostile and non-harassing manner, and used little or no psychological warfare and “everyone is a potential COVID case until proven otherwise” attitude toward arrivals. This in itself is deceptive and open to misinterpretation. A lack of aggressive attitude at Athens airport does not mean the organisation and checking was not in place. It could in fact mean Greece knew what it was doing (the best measures available to the country seeing as it CANNOT just say NO OVERSEAS VISITORS due to its fundamental dependance on tourism) in terms of filtering and checking arrivals, and that the country was carrying out its measures in a quiet and reasonably friendly manner.
From what I experienced and could see, some semblance and effort at informed filtering and testing or not testing of international arrivals was in place at Athens airport in late July 2020. Nectaria
If masks are compulsory outdoors i will be cancelling my Holiday.