An interesting situation has arisen as far as Greece tourism is concerned. According to a report from the Civil Aviation Service (CAS), passengers who arrive in Greece from 13 specific countries, regardless of their own nationality, will be required to submit to a coronavirus test upon arrival in the country. What makes this a curious development is the fact that Greek officials have assured the public tourism has nothing whatsoever to do with the recent spikes in COVID infections.
The Civil Aviation Service (CAS) said in a new NOTAM on Thursday, that travelers from Albania, Argentina, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, Georgia, India, Libya, Morocco, Russia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates must submit to the testing. Under an extended NOTAM, entrance to Greece by air is denied to all third-country nationals (ie non-EU, non-Schengen countries) and their families.
While it is still unclear exactly why the new directive was put in place, it seems that travelers have somehow slipped through some gaps in the Greek system of prevention via stopovers or other means. The notice implies that entry into Greece and the pertinent testing will become passport specific. At least, this seems like a fair assumption. Without a doubt, there is some level of concern that some travelers may not meet Greek requirements.
A few days ago a top adviser on COVID proclaimed the rebooted tourism season of 2021 as a success. The government’s Infectious disease expert Charalambos Gogos was quoted saying: “The bet on tourism is being won so far.”
Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis has said repeatedly , that tourism has nothing to do with increases in coronavirus cases. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Mediterranean region office says:
“WHO is concerned that the current Covid-19 upsurge may continue to peak in the coming weeks, with catastrophic consequences.”
A few hours ago, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control placed all of Greece in the red on its updated Covid-19 map. The latest figures from Greece’s EODY reveal 3,442 new COVID cases, and 25 more fatalities in the past 24 hours. The Instagram from DJ BLOND:ISH from Mykonos on August 5th seems to indicate the party on that famous island has never even slowed down.
As far as key areas of high incidence, Mykonos Island is still overing at 300 cases per 100,000 people despite government efforts to curtail parties and high risk activities. In Crete, where new restrictions were applied, cases are still high, but have fallen back over the past days. Santorini, Naxos, Rethymno on Crete, and Lefkada also have high incidence rates. On the Mykonos situation, reshares of parties on social media reflect a cavalier attitude toward the pandemic. One Instagrammer on seeing the BLOND:ISH party commented “Why the fuck am I not on Mykonos?”