Greece released a list of 29 countries whose nationals will be allowed to visit the country on holiday but several countries such as Britain and Sweden were notably absent.
Tourists from the approved countries who arrive in airports in Athens and Thessaloniki will be checked for Chinese coronavirus symptoms, with the checks based on the passport of the traveller and not where the flight originated.
The list of approved travel countries was created after announcements by the European Air Safety Agency (EASA) and includes several European countries such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Denmark, along with countries outside of Europe such as New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and even China.
All travellers attempting to enter Greece from countries not on the list, according to a report by newspaper Proto Thema, will have to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine upon arriving.
The Greek Ministry of Tourism said that the new policy would go into effect on June 15th and is the first phase of opening the country back up to international travel.
Danes Want to Re-open Land Borders to Everyone Except No-Lockdown Sweden https://t.co/A2nX8Gi4Xo
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The second phase, expected to start on July 1st, will involve all airports in Greece accepting international flights and a second “red list” created of countries that have not managed to keep the spread of the virus under strict control.
While the list includes countries like Austria, Germany, and Hungary, it does not include countries like the United Kingdom and Sweden where infection rates continue to grow.
Sweden has also been largely isolated by neighbouring Scandinavian countries due to a large number of infections and deaths in the country as a result of the Chinese virus and their refusal to lock down.
Mika Salminen, health safety manager at Finland’s Institute for Health and Welfare said that it was much riskier for the country to allow in Swedish tourists, as opposed to those from Denmark or Norway.
“It is a political decision, but the actual difference in the spread of infection is a fact, and I suppose the government, of course, takes that into account,” he said.
The British government, on the other hand, did lock down — but never implemented travel bans or mandatory periods of self-isolation on people coming into the country.
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