Greece holidays: FCO issues warning as local coronavirus measures ramp up

Though holidays to Greece continue, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is warning holidaymakers of sudden local restrictions being imposed across the nation. While the country has fared reasonably well, the sudden influx of tourism means coronavirus figures are creeping up.

In a bid to stop the spread of the virus, Greek authorities have imposed a number of measures in certain areas which could impact British tourists.

The FCO explains: “The Greek authorities are likely to impose local coronavirus-related restrictions in certain areas, if they perceive a heightened case-rate or other valid reason, in relation to that area.

“You should monitor the situation regularly via media and other information sources, including your accommodation or travel provider.”

New restrictions have been put in place in Mykonos, Halkidiki, Poros, Paros and Antiparos.

Additionally, a number of bar and restaurant bans have been imposed across the country.

“Additional checks and patrols will be carried out to enforce measures,” warns the FCO.

“You should comply with all the Greek authorities’ requirements; failure to do so could result in heavy fines.”

In Mykonos and Halkidiki regulations regarding group sizes and face masks have been tightened.

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The FCO states: “From 6am on Friday August 21 until 6am on Monday August 31, the following measures are in place both on Mykonos island, and in the Halkidiki Peninsula: A ban on gatherings of more than nine people, either indoors or outdoors; a limit of four people per table in any restaurant, except for cases where the party consists of family members, where the limit is 6 people; and mandatory use of face masks in indoor and outdoor public spaces.”

In Poros, Paros and Antiparos from 6am on August 7, 2020, until 6am on August 24, 2020, new measures will be introduced.

The FCO explains these include the “Prohibition of operation of all food/catering sector-related shops, services and facilities from midnight – 7am the next day.

“The suspension of any kind of live events and celebrations such as parties, trade fairs, religious ceremonies, open markets etc.

“No more than nine people can gather for any reason in public or private spaces.

“The maximum number of people allowed per table in dining facilities is four, unless your group consists only of close family members you regularly engage with, in which case, a group of up to six people is allowed.”

Face masks are also mandatory indoors and outdoors, with the exception of private indoor spaces such as hotel rooms.

On a wider scale, food and drink outlets must remain closed from midnight on August 23 until 7am in Thessaloniki; Halkidiki; Larissa; Corfu; Mykonos; Paros; Antiparos; Santorini; Zakynthos; Kos; Volos; Katerini.

This list of areas may be expanded.

The ban also applied to entertainment venues in Attica, Crete, East Macedonia and Thrace until August 31.

In a bid to further curb transmission of COVID-19 from tourists, the Greek authorities are encouraging travellers to wear face masks at all times for a week if they are arriving from countries with high coronavirus rates.

Holidaymakers must also wear their masks at all times while on the aeroplane and when in airports.

As of August 20, Greece has reported 250 new cases of the virus.

Throughout the pandemic, this has resulted in a total of 7934 confirmed cases.

Though the country remains on the travel corridor list at the time of writing, the UK Government has shown its willingness to axe countries at short notice if data proves it necessary.

In recent weeks Spain, Croatia, France, Belgium and Austria are among those who were suddenly removed from the list.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the Government will be “absolutely ruthless” when assessing travel corridor status.

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