Greece Holds Its Breath as First 250 Covid Tests to Tourists Prove Negative



Greek health authorities announced on Thursday that the first 250 Covid-19 tests to tourists arriving on Wednesday, the first day the country opened to mass tourism, proved all negative.

The tests were conducted at the international airport of Heraklion, Crete. During Thursday, authorities will provide information on at least 6,500 sampling tests taken from passengers arriving on approximately 235 international flights.

Greek authorities say that the health and safety operation at all regional airports proved satisfactory. However, they say that a clear epidemiological picture of the infection numbers among travelers will emerge in the next days.

Professor of Infectious Diseases, Nikos Sypsas sumarized the mood by telling Open TV on Wednesday: “We are holding our breath.”

He also described the borders opening as an experiment. “This is probably the first time such an experiment has been conducted on such a large scale,” Sypsas stressed.

Safety top priority

Tourism Μinister Haris Theocharis expressed his satisfaction on the first day of opening. “The pleasant thing, from the first day of opening, is that any small issues that arise are resolved immediately and at the same time we see that there is a willingness on the part of people to travel.”

He added that safety is of paramount importance: “The main thing is not how many people will come, the important thing is that each of the visitors returns safely to their home and becomes an ambassador of the quality of the tourist product of the country.”

Passengers tested are required to remain in self-isolation for 24 hours at their final destination as declared on their passenger locator form (PLF), until the result of the the test becomes available.

All travelers to Greece are obliged to have filled out the online PLF 48 hours before departure.