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Greece Looks to Extend Operation of ‘Quarantine Hotels’

The Greek Tourism Ministry on Thursday submitted a legislative amendment in Parliament which foresees the country’s “quarantine hotels” extending their operation until the end of November.

More specifically, the amendment concerns hotels in Greece that are currently being leased by the ministry and used for isolation purposes for tourists who may contract the coronavirus (Covid-19) while on holiday in the country. The hotels host mild cases of Covid-19 that do not require hospitalization.

The operation of quarantine hotels in Greece is an initiative of the ministry that was launched in July so that Greek tourism could open safely and ensure the health of visitors and of public health.

According to Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis, the initiative has worked to a very satisfactory degree.

Speaking in parliament, the minister said that although the quarantine hotels were initially to operate until the end of October, the extension of their leases was deemed necessary as leading tour operators from abroad have extended their programs to Greece.

“This year our country has strengthened its image abroad and is the first choice of a series of large and leading tour operators,” Minister Theoharis said, mentioning companies such as the UK’s Jet2 and Germany’s TUI. Both companies have extended their package travel programs to Greece until November.

Moreover, during his speech, the minister referred to Greece’s successful opening of tourism, despite the extremely difficult situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We never set any quantitative goals, but only quality goals. We wanted to be able to open (tourism) and we did. We wanted those who came to feel safe and to depart in perfect health and with the best of impressions. This has happened and at the same time we have managed to achieve a remarkable amount of income, given the circumstances. An income that supports families of people working in tourism, tourism professionals and companies in the sector,” he said.

Concluding, the tourism minister requested that all parties support the amendment, which is “a sign of the success”, given the data, of Greek tourism this year.

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