From July 15 Greece you will be able to visit Greece without any quarantine restrictions in place. This means you will not be required to self-isolate once you arrive in Greece or when you return home after your holiday.
As we prepare to welcome guests back to our properties and destinations, our attention is firmly focused on ensuring we have done everything possible to make travel safe and enjoyable in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. To help inform and reassure our guests about what to expect from your Ionian & Aegean Island Holiday this summer, we have answered a few of your questions below:
Q. Have quarantine restrictions been lifted in Greece and the UK?
A. From July 15 Greece you will be able to visit Greece without any quarantine restrictions in place. This means you will not be required to self-isolate once you arrive in Greece or when you return home after your holiday.
For more information: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece
In a recent interview on Sky News Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis stated,
“Direct flights from the UK to Greece are set to resume on Wednesday, July 15, following the lifting of a travel ban taken to limit the further spread of the Covid-19 virus
“Certainly, they (British tourists) are welcome… I am hoping that this beginning will lead to a successful, joyful and, above all, safe tourist season this year,”
Details of the interview can be seen here:
Q. Is Greece a Safe Destination to go on holiday?
A. Greece is ready to welcome tourists for a long-anticipated holiday season, being unanimously glorified by the international media for is handling of the crisis. Greece’s positive health performance record against coronavirus in combination with its countless secluded islands makes it the perfect destination for your holiday!
Greece reported less than 200 COVID-19 deaths and 3,000 cases during the pandemic period. The country’s immediate and successful response is a passport of safety, credibility and health for its visitors. With all safety measures, keeping visitors and locals healthy, Greece promises to show its traditional hospitality this summer.
Q. What is a PLF form and do I have to fill this in before I travel?
A. The Passenger Locator Form (PLF) https://travel.gov.gr/#/ must be completed by all passengers visiting Greece. This must be completed at least 24 hours before entering the country, providing detailed information on your point of departure, the duration of previous stays in other countries, and the address of your stay while in Greece. In
the case of twin centre holidays, passengers are required to provide the address which they will be staying at both accommodations. Passengers will receive a confirmation email upon submission of the PLF.
Passengers will subsequently receive their unique Quick Response (QR) code on the day of their scheduled arrival in Greece (at midnight) and will be notified via email. A QR code will be provided in a link in the confirmation email.
Only one PLF form needs to be completed per family unit or group.
To assist you in completing the form, please note that many of the Greek Islands do not have street names. Therefore, when completing the form, it is sufficient to put the following information.
• Property Name i.e. Villa Aquarius
• Street – You Need to put the area i.e. Fiskardo Kefalonia
• Post Code i.e28084
Depending on where you are staying the following Post Codes apply;
Q. What testing is in place when I arrive in Greece and if I am tested do, I need to be quarantined?
A. Spot tests are carried out on arrival at all Greek airports. Selection is randomly based on scanning your QR code on arrival. If you are selected for a test this consist of a swab test which only takes a few minutes. If you are tested, you will still be allowed to continue with your onward transfers and your holiday normally.
In the rare event you prove positive you will be contacted within 24 hours and given instructions of what you need to do by local health officials. What happens next depends on individual circumstances & will also depend on your symptoms. If you have a mild reaction and there is adequate room in the accommodation you are staying and are able to self-isolate, you will be allowed to stay there for the duration of your holiday. If the
isolation period exceeds the duration of your initial stay we will either find suitable accommodation where you can continue your isolation or you can choose to go to one of the hotels that the Greek Government are providing on each island. You will incur no additional expense for this accommodation. We will also assist in finding an alternative flight home when you are able to travel. In most cases, this cost will be covered by your travel insurance.
Q. What will the travel experience be like?
A. Without doubt, the airport and flying experience will be different this year. The UK and Greek governments are requiring passengers on all public transport, including flights, to wear face masks. You can also expect to be required to wear a face mask in airport terminal buildings and at the boarding gate. In summary, you should be prepared to wear a mask or face covering at all points of your journey.
The UK government is also advising minimising luggage and checking baggage into the hold wherever possible.
All flights bought as part of Ionian & Aegean Island Holiday packages include hold baggage. Many airlines are changing their on-board service, offering limited catering; we, therefore, recommend you stock up after you go through security and before you board with any drinks and snacks you require.
For specific information about how the airlines we use are adapting flying in the ‘new normal’, including how they are cleaning aircraft, please refer to their dedicated webpages:
• EASY JET – https://www.easyjet.com/en/fly-with-confidence
• JET 2 – https://www.jet2.com/flights/safe-travel
• Enter Air – https://www.enterair.pl/en/covid-19
Q. Does Greece have any protocols in place to ensure our safety?
A. Greece has very strict protocols in place with regards to distancing and hygiene. For more details of some of these measures please refer to http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/home/health_protocols_
(Please note that some of the protocols mentioned in this link do not apply to members of the same party.)
Q. How will transfers operate?
A. The number of passengers allowed on coaches and boats that we use for our transfers have been restricted to approximately 60% of their normal capacity. Protocols are in place to ensure that coaches and boats are sanitised and cleaned after each journey.
Q . What measures are in place for restaurants?
A. Fortunately, many restaurants, tavernas and bars in Greece have extensive outdoor areas. You do not have to wear masks in tavernas or outside spaces however the use of masks is recommended in other closed spaces.
Tables in restaurants have been spaced out and members of the same family unit can sit on the same table. Restaurant must follow these protocols with regards to hygiene.
Food services – Kitchens
• All kitchens in hotels are obliged to follow Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), an internationally recognised method of identifying and managing food safety related risk.
• Goods must be served by specific staff members who always wear gloves and masks.
• All kitchen staff members should keep distance from one another, in accordance to the requirements of health authorities.
• Entrance to the kitchen area is prohibited for the public.
Food services – Restaurants (a la carte, buffet, breakfast rooms) and bars (indoor and outdoor)
• The same rules apply as in restaurants and bars in the country, according to the current legal framework.
All restaurant and bar managers must implement social distancing through table spacing and guest seating.
Q. What cleaning measures are in place with regards to my accommodation?
A. Protocols issued by the Greek Government vary for Villas, Apartments, Hotels under 50 Rooms and larger establishments over 50 rooms.
For all our accommodation cleaners will have attended training courses organised by the Greek Tourist Board and will have been certified that they have attended these courses.
• Cleaners will be paying extra attention to cleaning ‘high touch’ areas in the accommodation. These include light switches, remote controls, hairdryers, safes, bathroom and kitchen surfaces, kitchen utensils, keys and handrails.
• Cleaners will be asked to use hypochlorite solution to thoroughly disinfect the accommodation before occupation by each party and all villas will be steam cleaned at each change over.
• All bedding will be laundered in cycles where temperatures are maintained at 65°C for not less than ten minutes, or 71°C for not less than three minutes.
• Hand sanitiser will be provided in all accommodation for our guests.
• The contents of welcome hampers will be limited as we do not want individuals other than cleaners and guests to enter the accommodation.
• Practical measures such as any unnecessary paper e.g. leaflets and guides and some ornaments will be removed from the accommodation to minimise any risk.
• Cleaners themselves will follow strict protocols, including wearing disposable gloves, wearing suitable shoes and following social distancing rules when working in teams.
• Chlorine and pH levels of their pools will be tested twice a week for villas and daily for apartments and hotels, including changeover days. Levels are strictly maintained to ensure pools offer a safe environment for our guests.
• For shared accommodation and hotels either sunbeds will be allocated to specific apartments or rooms where practical, or where there are limited sunbeds these will be disinfected by staff after each usage.
Q. What happens if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 whilst I am on holiday?
A. Our local teams and partners have been fully briefed on the processes and procedures necessary should there be an outbreak, or suspected outbreak, of COVID-19 whilst you are on holiday. The response will vary depending on whether you are staying in a villa, with just your own party, or in a hotel or complex with other guests. Should you, or anyone in your party come down with any symptoms of COVID-19, please inform our local representative immediately and they will advise you of the next steps. As always, our dedicated teams are there to ensure your welfare and are ready and happy to communicate on your behalf with local health professionals and authorities.
Q. Do I need to be insured against Covid19?
A. It is essential you have the correct travel insurance. For your travel insurance to be valid, the FCO must have removed their advice against ‘all but essential travel’; we expect this to happen as part of the air bridges. You should check that your policy covers you for medical expenses, subsistence, and repatriation if you or a member of your party contact COVID-19 during your holiday. If you took out a single trip policy or renewed
an annual policy before the outbreak began in February, you should be covered but you will need to contact your insurance to check if you are covered . Some insurances are allowing customers extensions on their policies to cover specifically for COVID-19.
Whilst we do not sell or recommend specific travel insurance policies ourselves, several insurers, including Cover for You, Stay Sure, AXA and Trail finders, are now offering policies that specifically cover COVID-19. With regards to local lockdowns occurring before your departure and you cannot travel for this reason most
travel insurance should cover this eventuality. https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/planning-and-bookinga-holiday/travel-insurance
The above information is correct as at 15-Jul-2020. We reserve the right to change our policies in light of new information or travel restrictions.