Tourists in Greece infected with coronavirus will not be subject to a five-day quarantine. The restriction normally applies to citizens who will fall ill and are in their place of residence, a joint ministerial decision published in the official gazette on Wednesday provides.
The decision published by the ministries of Health, Tourism and Finance on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, comes while the tourism season for both locals and foreigners has already started since quite some time.
According to the ministries guidelines on “special health protocols regarding measures against Covid-19 for touristic businesses […] there will be no quarantine rooms for tourists” in summer 2022.
While the 5-day isolation at home remains mandatory for citizens, tourists are “different” and will remain in quarantine only if they wish to and only for the number of days they have pre-paid for their accommodation in hotel or other facilities.
According to magazine protagon.gr,
- 5-day quarantine for tourists is simply “recommended” and not mandatory.
Subsequently, while they are infected and positive with coronavirus, they will be able to travel by ship, plane or any other means, simply by using a high protection mask (FFP2 or KN95).
“There was a lot of discussion about how to manage outbreaks in tourist accommodation and we decided to apply what applies to the rest of the Mediterranean countries, because the majority of countries in northern Europe do not have any measures at all to protect against the coronavirus,” Christos Hatzichristodoulou, Professor of Hygiene and Epidemiology at the Medical School of the University of Thessaly, told the protagon.
All this means that in practice, if someone has booked four days in a hotel and tests positive with Covid-19 on the second day, he will be in isolation [recommended!] in his room for the remaining two days of the booked stay.
Once completed, he can leave and travel freely, still tested positive with the virus.
The only obligation he has is to wear the high protection mask until he gets home.
In the event that someone has severe symptoms, the accommodation management should inform the ambulance service EKAB, which has the responsibility to transfer the infected to a health unit specialized for patients with Covid infection.
The transfer can be done either by ambulance, or by water or air means. ”
It is, however, clear that if the infected are not going to travel – in the case of foreign tourists to their home country or for local tourists [from Greece] to their place of residence they should remain in isolation in their room for all the days they have paid for.
It does not mean that just because the isolation is recommended and not mandatory that infected will go around on the islands.
“This wording exists so that they can move away and not find themselves stranded in a foreign place,” Hatzichristodoulou clarified to protagon.gr .
Joint ministerial decision
According to the joint ministerial decision, however, if a tourist – foreign or local/Greek – is tested positive one should immediately inform the accommodation’s health manager, get s surgical mask.
The accommodation management briefs the doctor it cooperates with, “the doctor enters the room of the suspected case applying personal protective equipment (high respiratory protection mask, protective glasses, waterproof gowns, gloves) and evaluates whether the case needs hospitalization.
To use the quarantine rooms for positive cases that require isolation with the consent of the doctor collaborating with the accommodation (this only applies if the hotel unit has rooms to make available to guests, but mainly to employees).
In asymptomatic positive people or when they have mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization, isolation of the case for five days is recommended and this ends without additional diagnostic testing.
If for any reason there is a need to travel by means of transport, this must be done with the use of a high protection face mask (FFP2, KN 95)”.
Is it Greek to you? No worries. It’s Greek to me, too.
Slowly it also makes sense why EODY halts its daily coronavirus bulletin:.
“We want tourism to flourish, that’s the only way for revenues. We want tourists and in facts their money only, and don’t want to spend any cent on quarantine rooms on islands. Go out and infect yourselves. Y-O-L-O!”
In older times Greek kids used to throw squeezed-out lemon cups and ripe tomatoes to community members who would deviate from the rules.
By these lemon- and tomato-prices nowadays this practice is impossible.
PS I suppose, next year if this gov’t still in power, it will offer “virtual vacation packages“: Tourists will pay for accommodation, food and drinks but they will not need to come her.