Greece Launches COVID-19 Questionnaire For Tourists

A street with shops near the beach in Pefkochori on Halkidiki Peninsula, Greece, on June 20, 2020. – One of Greece’s most popular tourism destinations, the Halkidiki peninsula provides hotels and apartments with around 100,000 rooms. Nearly 60 percent of business activity relies on the travel sector. Sakis MITROLIDIS / AFP.

 

Tourists travelling to Greece will be required from Wednesday to complete an online questionnaire 48 hours in advance to determine whether they need to be tested for coronavirus on arrival.

Over the weekend the Greek government ended random testing of travellers according to their country of origin, which had confused tourists who did not know whether they should spend a night in a hotel to be tested after landing in Athens and Thessaloniki, or go directly into quarantine.

Greece, which has a relatively low coronavirus death toll at 191, has launched a promotional campaign to revive tourism — which accounts for a quarter of its gross domestic product — and hopes to reassure potential travellers as well as Greeks who fear a resurgence of the pandemic with the return of tourists.

Under the new protocol, travellers are given scannable bar codes after they fill out a questionnaire with personal details such as their country of origin and the countries they have travelled through in the last 15 days.

The questionnaire is mandatory until August 31.

Bar codes will be scanned from printed paper or mobile devices at ports of arrival, which will determine whether travellers will be directed to the exit or to a screening area.

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Those who are tested will be told to isolate at the address provided on the questionnaire while waiting for the results.

The new protocol “is most likely to be able to detect the majority of imported cases”, Dimitris Paraskevis, a member of the health ministry’s expert committee, told Skai TV.

All airports in the country will reopen to international flights by Wednesday and the ports of Patras and Igoumenista will again receive ferries from Italy, while other ports will be reopened to cruise ships.

AFP

Anthonia Orji

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