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Greece Says Covid-19 Protection Action Plan in Place at All Popular Tourist Spots

Greek Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias (center).

Greek Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias announced on Wednesday that all the necessary Covid-19 measures and provisions, including immediate access to medical services and emergency transport from remote regions and islands are in place to welcome travelers from abroad on May 15, when the country officially opens its borders.

Speaking during a media briefing on pandemic management, Kikilias referred to a health ministry action plan which includes among others emergency transport by land and sea and a higher number of medical professionals stationed at health facilities at popular tourist destinations across Greece. The streamlined plan is based on the knowhow gained from last year’s experience with tourism.

Photo source: National Public Health Organization (EODY)

Kikilias went on to stress that the government’s Covid-19 committee would be monitoring the situation with particular emphasis on popular tourist destinations and assessing on a day-to-day basis the need for additional actions and measures.

“We will support our economy, we will support tourism, and in order to do that, public health rules must apply. People from abroad trust our country, invest in our country, and decide to travel to Greece. We will ensure that this is done safely, that it is done in an organized manner, that people can be happy, that they can go on vacation, and that Greeks can do the same,” he said.

In this direction, Kikilias referred to the successful rate of vaccination particularly among the younger generations, urged everyone to get the shot, and announced on Thursday that any adult wishing to be vaccinated can do so through to June 30. He said that the vaccination booking system was set to open on Wednesday for the 40-44 age group. Greece has so far carried out more than 3 million vaccinations.

With regard to the opening of cultural venues, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias refrained from giving a specific date, noting that it was on the government’s priority list but hinged on the epidemiological developments and viral load.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.
  1. TS Reply

    ‘Kikilias referred to the successful rate of vaccination particularly among the younger generations, urged everyone to get the shot, and announced on Thursday that any adult wishing to be vaccinated can do so through to June 30.’
    You keep urging everyone to get a vaccine while the process for getting temporary AMKA numbers and then booking appointments is still not working adaquately (if at all!). Expats living in Greece without AMKAs are desperately waiting to get vaccinated. Help them!!
    I left Greece last week to get my vaccine. Despite having residency, but no AMKA. Five attempts at registration – still no AMKA. I registered properly, getting a ‘registration number’ every time. To no avail. In my country of birth, I’ve had one dose already. #2 is in two weeks…. It should have been this easy in Greece. And why haven’t large islands, with airports, ie direct access for tourists, been vaccinated in full?? Surely it would have been more sensible to protect EVERYONE in full on bigger islands which could then open safely to all tourists arriving by air. If the virus takes hold, it won’t matter what ‘ measures’ there are – how many sick people are you able to fly off the islands?? where to?! Mainland hospitals are still full. Covid cases are not declining enough. Open vaccination centres for anyone who wants a vaccine. Now.
    Forget AMKAs, forget bureaucracy. Just ask for some form of ID and proof of residency. Make it easy! Too many people are still unvaccinated. 10% of the population is not enough. Too many people have just had one dose so far. That is not enough to give adaquate immunity. You don’t have time to wait. You can’t afford a crisis like India…

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