Greece holidays: Major rule change could see tourists slapped with fines

Britons have been given the thumbs up to jet off to Greece on holiday without the need to quarantine when they return home. However, new rules put in place by Greek authorities mean that the experience could be very different to holidays in the past.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued a new update for Britons advising them of the sudden rule change which came into practice from today.

“From 29 July 2020, it is obligatory to wear a face mask in supermarkets, cafes, banks, government offices, retail outlets, barbershops, hairdressers and related establishments,” explained the FCO.

Both residents and visitors found to be flouting the new rules will face fines of €150 ( approximately £136.20).

Face masks are also mandatory onboard aircraft when travelling to, from and within Greece.

Most international airlines will not allow passengers to fly without the use of a face mask or covering.

“If you are travelling by internal (domestic) flights, you are required to wear masks throughout the journey,” states the FCO.

“Specific measures relating to check-in, baggage allowances and other details are in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus.”

Initially, Greece had been a lot more relaxed on the use of face masks due to the low infection rate in the nation.

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At the time of writing, Greece as only recorded 4,279 cases.

However, now the country’s Government has made a sudden U-turn in its stance on masks.

“We are going to have to learn to live with the use of masks,” said Greek deputy minister of civil protection and crisis management Nikos Hardalias.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has also warned that the danger of COVID-19 is not over yet.

“We dealt with the first wave of the pandemic, but the danger still looms large,” he said in a tweet on Monday.

Tourists have flocked back to the holiday hotspot since travel corridors were opened up, however, visitors must meet strict entry requirements which Greece hopes will reduce cases being imported into the country.

Ahead of travel, visitors must fill in a passenger locator form at least 23 hours before arrival.

Failure to do so will result in a fine of €500.

“Once you have completed the form, you will receive an email acknowledgement.

“In a separate email, you will also receive a QR code,” explains the FCO.

Passengers should then show this QR code upon arrivals. The aim is to help with the track and trace initiative.

UK tourists will also undergo a coronavirus test upon arrival.

“Test results are expected to become available within 24 hours,” the FCO states.

“If your test result is positive, the Greek authorities are likely to ask you to self-isolate for 14 days.”

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